Saturday, January 20, 2007

George the Liar

British Find No Evidence Of Arms Traffic From Iran
Troops in Southeast Iraq Test U.S. Claim of Aid for Militias

I've had it with this idiot. Remember when he said this?: “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

Well damned if the British can't find anything like that crossing the border.

"I have not myself seen any evidence -- and I don't think any evidence exists -- of government-supported or instigated" armed support on Iran's part in Iraq, British Defense Secretary Des Browne said in an interview in Baghdad in late August.

From now on, this man will only be referred to as George the Liar on this site. We all know they've all been lying from the start, but I just can't take it anymore. I can't even call this moron "President" or "Commander in Chief" or anything remotely respectful.
And now Condoleeza Rice, the most inept Secretary of State EVER, is insisting "there is plenty of evidence that there is Iranian involvement with these networks that are making high-explosive IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and that are endangering our troops, and that's going to be dealt with." However, Rice failed to provide any evidence of official Iranian involvement.
...the administration has a major credibility problem with this story. It could not explain why Iran would want to assist the enemies of the militant Shiite parties in Iraq that were aligned with Iran.
So we've got George the Liar, Dick the Devil, Condi the Hapless and Tony the Snowman.
Time to spread the fear and lies and lies and fear. Have to justify attacking Iran.

Imus Rips Lieberman

I was surfing briefly this morning as I was getting ready for work and caught Don Imus on MSNBC interviewing Joe Lieberman. Now, I usually don't listen to Imus as he's gotten a little kooky in his later years, but I have to admit, when he has something to say, he doesn't hold back.

He asked Lieberman what the next step would be when this "surge" doesn't work. Lieberman tried to weasel out of the question, but like a pit bull with a piece of meat in his jaws, Imus wouldn't let up. I was able to record some of the interview but haven't had a chance to upload yet.

UPDATE: Here's the video!

In the meantime, here's part of the transcript:
Imus: "I was talking with Colonel Jack Jacobs who we have on... I don't know once or twice a week..."

Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Good. He's great."

Imus: "Yeah he is. He pointed out regarding this troop surge, that it really only amounts to about a fifteen percent increase in troop strength, hardly enough to do anything or to have any impact at all. What's your view of that?"

Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Well, I worry about it but I think it will have an impact. If I had my druthers I would have increased it from twenty-one thousand to maybe thirty-five thousand. But I do think we are putting in another five brigades which is oh sixteen, seventeen thousand soldiers into Baghdad that is a doubling of American forces, coalition forces we've got in Baghdad now and it will have an effect. The other place we are going to put the remaining four thousand or so, is in Anbar province to the west. When McCain and I and Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins were in Iraq in December, we went to Ramadi, which is sort of the capital of Anbar province, we met an incredible group of soldiers, ours, who were there making progress, they turned Sunni Sheiks in that area against Al Qaeda. You know these are reinforcements for them. I think we could really make some progress, even win some victories over in Anbar so. I think this is a significant... nobody has come up with a better idea to basically stop the violence in Baghdad which is getting in the way of reviving the economy and ultimately getting Iraqi politicians to do the things they've got to do but if you gave my druthers I'd have it up to about thirty-five thousands."

Imus: "Well what happens when this doesn't work which is what is going to happen."

Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Well, let's hope and pray it works."

Imus: "No, I know but it's not going to."

Sen. Lieberman: "No..."

Imus: "Well you have to face reality Senator. It's not going to work. Maliki is not going to jump ugly with Al Sadr, he owes his seat to his support. Everybody knows that. He's already dragging his feet. He's contemptuous of, it's like loaning money to relatives, he's contemptuous of U.S. support anyway, Maliki is, so what happens next when none of this works?"

Sen. Lieberman: "Yeah in fairness some of the stuff he says I think is said for local, domestic consumption but there is no question that he and most of them involved in politics and frankly most of the people, know that they want us out but not now, that's the story. Not everybody can understand they don't want an occupying force but they know that the place really would fall apart. There would be open armed civil war and the Iranians would come in and dominate a good part of the country, so let's hope and pray it works."

McCain's Unpopularity

I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before this would happen. "Maverick" John McCain, who initially had been popular among independent voters, is now tanking in a New Hampshire poll.

The main reason isn’t hard to find: His hawkish stance on the Iraq war, which is tying him ever more closely to an unpopular president. “Independent support for McCain is evaporating because they view him as tied to Bush,” says [American Research Group president, Dick] Bennett.

Well, who WOULD vote for this schmuck after his "McCain Doctrine" ridiculousness. I can think of only one person: Joe Lieberman.

Colbert & O'Reilly

On January 18th, Stephen Colbert appeared as a guest on The O'Reilly Factor and O'Reilly reciprocated by appearing on The Colbert Report.
It was a cute little stunt, but it's hysterical seeing O'Reilly trying to outdo Colbert in the comedy department. Bill, just stick to your usual lies, because you look very sad in both interviews, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee.

Colbert on O'Reilly

O'Reilly on Colbert

Friday, January 19, 2007

George McGovern's Impertinent Questions

Eighty-four year old George McGovern spoke to at the National Press Club after writing a book with William Polk called "Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now." He skewers Bush along the way with a series of "impertinent questions".

For example:
In your initial campaign for the Presidency, Mr. Bush, you described yourself as a "compassionate conservative". What is compassionate about consigning America's youth to a needless and seemingly endless war that has now lasted longer than World War II? And what is conservative about reducing the taxes needed to finance this war and instead running our national debt to nine trillion dollars with money borrowed from China, Japan, Germany and Britain? Is this wild deficit financing your idea of conservatism? Mr. President, how can a true conservative be indifferent to the steadily rising cost of a war that claims over $7 billion a month, $237 million every day? Are you troubled to know as a conservative that just the interest on our skyrocketing national debt is $760,000 every day. Mr. President, our Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, estimates that if the war were to continue until 2010 as you have indicated it might, the cost would be over a trillion dollars.

Mr. President, I ask have you kept your oath of office to uphold the Constitution when you use what you call the war on terrorism to undermine the Bill of Rights?

First Amendment in Jeopardy?

Steve Watson's latest post (at tells us that our First Amendment rights could be in trouble with the current Lobby reform bill. With the redefinition of "lobbying", bloggers could fall under same net as K Street type lobbyists.

"Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Bush/Hitler Comparison

There have been a lot of comparisons between George W. Bush and Adolph Hitler in what I've heard and read over the course of the last couple of years. And at first I thought, as did many I'm sure, that this was a bit of an exaggeration. That the liberal left were branding him a fascist and going to extremes to make a point. But make a point they did - if you look at it in an historical, objective prospective, you'll start to get chills by the similarities.

In one of my earlier posts, I quoted Herman Göring on the power of nationalism: "Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a facist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." This was quoted during the Nuremberg Trials.

Bush has invoked September 11th over and over again. And I'm not sure if this is correct, but I cannot recall a Bush speech in recent memory concerning Iraq where he has failed to mention 9/11.

An article by Cheryl Seal documents the Hitler-Bush comparison well. Here are some higlights (my additions are in yellow):

No one expected Hitler to rise to power. He had failed at just about everything he had even undertaken until he discovered politics. Hitler was a fervent Christian until his egomania superceded faith in a "higher power." Substitute "Bush" for "Hitler"and this statement works just as well.

In Hitler's first radio speech after becoming Chancellor on January 30, 1933, he pledged "to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation" and invoked God's blessing on the German government. He claimed to be a "uniter, not a divider."

The Nazis' battle cry throughout their campaign had been "down with the liberals!" Once in office, Hitler made "liberals" (a mass group into which he lumped social democrats, gays, Jews, and any threat to Hitler's model of Christian society) his sworn enemies.

Goebbels, head of propaganda and undoubtedly the bulk of the diabolical brains behind the operation, gleefully wrote in his diary: "The struggle is a light one now as we are able to employ all the means of the state [which included the judiciary]". In addition, he noted, "Radio and press are at our disposal." Think Karl Rove and Fox News.

Hitler believed that to consolidate his power, he needed to create an "enemy of the state." Contrary to popular belief, the first "enemy" Hitler formally targeted was not the Jews but the Communist Party. Why? Because they were the most outspoken activists against his regime. Hitler was thus the first to invoke the spectre of "the Red Menace." Enemy of the State = Saddam Hussein. Substitute "Red Menace" with "Axis of Evil".

The Fuhrer, becoming progressively more drunk with his new power, facilitate his demonization of the "Reds," he sent provocateurs to orchestrate a staged act of "terrorism." Their dupe was a young revolutionary named Van der Lubbe, who was implicated in (i.e. framed for) the bombing of the Reichstag (the equivalent of the Congressional building). Now I'm not saying 9/11 was "staged", at least not the World Trade Center. I can't bear to think that would be the case, but I do question our lack of response on that day. Where was NORAD? Why were they told to stand down? Where was the plane wreckage at the Pentagon? Big hole in the wall... no plane wreckage?

This incident gave Hitler the excuse he needed for "cracking down" on "enemies of the state." He rallied the Germans against the "terrorists" and passed the odious "Enabling Acts," in which the government was granted the right to bypass any due process for "suspects." Here it is. The Patriot Act in all its glory.

Hitler began to isolate Germany from the rest of the world: One of his first actions after assuming power was to withdraw from the League of Nations. Bush decided what he would do regardless of what the United Nations thought.

Hitler made public dissent first all but impossible, then illegal. At first, whenever groups tried to voice a protest during a public speech, he would have storm troopers clear the dissenters from the hall. Hitler also made sure that the media did not give provide the public with any coverage of dissenters or public protests because it was "encouraging of destructive elements." Boy does this sound familiar! How many times has Cindy Sheehan been arrested? How many times have the Secret Service or the CIA or FBI dragged protesters out of public speeches, not even for disrupting the proceedings, but for sitting there silently while wearing a T-shirt in opposition of Herr Bush? And how many times have we seen it on television?

Hitler was very fond of photo ops. He believed they were his best form of PR and pounced on them at every opportunity. Mission accomplished.

Read Seal's complete articles for more similarities.


Just recently, Bush spoke of Iran in his New Way Forward speech and how “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.” Compare that statement to the Gleiwitz incident.

The Gleiwitz incident was a staged attack on August 31, 1939 against the German radio Station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany on the eve of WWII in Europe. This provocation was one of several actions in Operation Himmler, a Nazi Germany project to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany, which would be used to justify the subsequent invasion of Poland.

At the same time as the Gleiwitz attack there were other incidents orchestrated by Germany along the Polish-German border, such as house torching in the Polish Corridor and other propaganda. The entire project, dubbed Operation Himmler and comprising 21 incidents in all, was intended to give the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany.
On the day following the Gleiwitz attack, Germany launched the invasion of Poland — initiating World War II in Europe. In a speech in the Reichstag, Hitler cited the 21 border incidents, with three of them called very serious, as justification for Germany's "defensive" action against Poland.

This is all too scary to think about, but it's out there. George Santayana is quoted as saying "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." In this case, I think history was studied all too well with the full intention of repeating it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

John Edwards - Silence Is Betrayal

John Edwards spoke at Riverside Church in New York on Sunday, January 14th regarding King's stance on the Vietnam War and how it parallels the war in Iraq.

"If you're in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction, it is no longer enough to study your options and keep your own counsel.
"Silence is betrayal. Speak out, and stop this escalation now. You have the power to prohibit the president from spending any money to escalate the war — use it."

"It is time, brothers and sisters, for America to be patriotic about something other than war."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obama 2008?

Barack Obama has started an exploratory committee for a possible 2008 presidential run. He'll make his decision by February 10th. It gets more and more interesting every day. So far it's Edwards, Biden, Dodd and Vilsack on the Democratic side. Clinton is a probable. John Kerry and Bill Richardson are also thinking about it.

Let's Not Lose Our Heads

BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 — Iraq’s turbulent effort to reckon with the violence of its past took another macabre turn on Monday when the execution of Saddam Hussein's half brother ended with the hangman’s noose decapitating him after he dropped through the gallows trapdoor.

Can this possibly get any worse? I don't think you can write a script like this and have it be believable.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stem Cell Passes in House

But will it get any further?

“By January 2009, we will have a president who favors embryonic stem cell research,” Ms. DeGette added, noting that at the moment the leading presidential candidates in both parties support it.
Of the three most emotional social issues of the day — abortion
rights, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research — the last is the only one on which the public, by a growing majority, clearly favors the liberal position, said Michael Dimock, a pollster at the Pew Forum on People and the Press.

Ella Fitzgerald Stamp

While we're on the subject of music, I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows, Michael Bourne's Singers Unlimited on Sunday and he was focused on one particular legend, Ella Fitzgerald, in celebration of her US postage stamp. She's the 30th and latest honoree in the Postal Service's Black Heritage Series.

Congratulations, Ella.

Michael Bourne can be heard on WBGO, 88.3FM in the New York area. They're based in Newark, New Jersey. You can also catch them on the internet. If you're a jazz music fan, give it a listen and if you like what you hear, support the station as well. I believe that they are the only public station left in the US that runs 24 hours a day, with over 50% of their expense revenue coming from public support.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Michael Brecker 1949-2007

NEW YORK -- Michael Brecker, a versatile and highly influential tenor saxophonist who won 11 Grammys over a career that spanned more than three decades, died Saturday at age 57. Brecker died in a hospital in New York City of leukemia, according to his longtime friend and manager, Darryl Pitt.

This is very depressing. When I was in college, a friend turned me on to Brecker while he was with Steps Ahead. I was able to go see him play at The Bottom Line in NYC. It was just before the album Steps Ahead: Magnetic was released (probably 1985ish...Yes. Albums. Remember them?). I fell in love with his playing and his experimentation (like the EWI) and went out and tried to buy everything he recorded.
I wasn't around for John Coltrane's death, but I can't imagine this feeling any less painful. Michael Brecker was arguably one of the jazz giants of our generation.

His illness silenced his music at times, but raising awareness of bone marrow drives gave him a new focus.

"It's something that doesn't come naturally. ... I obviously miss playing and writing music," Brecker told The Associated Press in 2005. "On the other hand, this whole experience has allowed me to be a conduit to attract attention for a cause that's much larger than me ... for people to go get tested (for the marrow donor program) because I know a lot of lives will be saved."

Brecker's survivors include his wife, Susan; his children, Jessica and Sam; his brother, Randy; and his sister, Emily Brecker Greenberg. Memorial services are being planned.

In lieu of flowers, the Brecker family asks that donations be made to
The Marrow Foundation's TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FUND.

Here are a couple of videos. Enjoy.

STEPS AHEAD - TOKYO, 1986 Song: Beirut (Brecker's EWI solo is about 4 minutes in.)

Michael Brecker - Switzerland, 1998 - Song: Delta City Blues

Rest in peace, Michael.