Saturday, May 23, 2009

Must Reads

Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel: Cheney's Speech Ignored Some Inconvenient Truths

Robert Koehler: Never Again

President Obama's Weekly Address - May 23, 2009


Friday, May 22, 2009

Slow Blogging Weekend

Heading to Boston early tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with relatives, catch the Mets/Red Sox game at Fenway Park and do some general relaxing with some good food, good wine and good company.

I'll still have President Obama's Weekly Address up (if it's available at 5am) and a couple of Must Reads posted by noon. If I feel so compelled, I may be a-postin' and a-Twitterin' with the use of my handy dandy cellular phone machinery.

Have a great weekend and a happy and reflective Memorial Day.

Glenn Beck Is A Coward

So by now, most of us know that Glenn Beck had an appearance on The View and was eviscerated by Barbara Walters and Whoppi Goldberg, not for his usual psychotic rantings, but because he lied about them on his radio show. If you haven't seen this clip, it's a must watch.

So Beck immediately apologizes to Walters and said it was a mischaracterization, then tries to defend himself himself because Whoopi accused him of lying even though they have video, then tries to play it off by saying "didn't you think I knew this was coming?" as if it was a big prank because he was scheduled on his show. He then apologized again by saying he "misspoke" while getting a dig in at Nancy Pelosi edgewise.

Now Beck, away from the View studio and safely hidden away in his rathole, shows his cowardly ways and again attacks Walters and Goldberg when he knows they can't rebut his fabrications. Now he wants a "damn apology."

What a cowardly, thin-skinned, pathetic, whiny, little bitch.

Steele Diagnosed with Foot In Mouth Disease

Does his brain shut down the second he stands before a microphone or camera? Or is he really just that stupid?

STEELE: The problem that we have with this president is that we don’t know [Obama]. He was not vetted, folks. … He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. “Oh gee, wouldn’t it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn’t it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We can continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky to live in an America with a black president.” Okay that’s wonderful, great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe? … So we don’t know. We just don’t know.

I guess he got his talking points from Rush Limbaugh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

President Obama's National Security Speech, May 21, 2009

Ed Schultz on Morning Joe

Is it me, or did Ed Schultz just kick ass on Morning Joe? I think Scarborough had his nose bloodied and Mika was fanning herself to avoid the vapors. This is probably the last time Schultz will be on the show. Joe Scarborough didn't sign up to get his pee-pee slapped on Gitmo, Pelosi, the CIA and national security.

Keith Olbermann to Rush Limbaugh: Fuck You!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Douchebag of the Week: Harry Reid

It's only Wednesday but I don't even have to wait until the end of the week to nominate Senate Majority Leader Harry "Have You Seen My Balls?" Reid for Douchebag of the Week honors.

“Guantánamo makes us less safe,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on Tuesday at a news conference where he laid out the party’s rationale for its decision. “However, this is neither the time nor the bill to deal with this. Democrats under no circumstances will move forward without a comprehensive, responsible plan from the president. We will never allow terrorists to be released into the United States.”

That's right, Harry. All 241 detainees are "terrorists" that we're just going to let out into the streets. There's no possible way that some, if not most of these men who were swept up randomly and have been held for years without benefit of charge or trial could quite possibly be innocent. The fact that of the 29 men that have been tried in the Bush administration's sham of a military tribunal deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, only four were found guilty even with the deck stacked against them bears no significance in your view.

Even if it were true that some, more than some, most, or even all of the detainees were the worst of the worst, I'm trying to follow the thought progression of fearmongering to the point that Reid, most Senate Democrats* and all Senate Republicans are such incredible piss in their pants, weeping pussies, that they don't even want these people on US soil, behind some of the world's tightest security supermax prisons. It confounds logic.

Do they have special powers? Is Allah going to come down and flatten the prison for an easy escape? Does the specific frequency of their Islamic extremist jihad shriek pulverize concrete walls and melt steel doors? I've said it before but it bears repeating: if we can keep some of our most dangerous criminals, mass murderers, serial rapists and pedophiles, drug lords and mafia leaders safely behind bars, but can't expect the US penal system to be able to handle suspected "terrorists", what does that say of our correctional institutions? What does it say TO our institutions?

Our congressional leaders are all crying NIMBY while small towns are willing to take prisoners in order to bolster employment during a recession that's bleeding them dry. But the politicians we voted into office are more worried about their re-election bids than doing the right thing and closing Gitmo - the biggest recruitment tool going for anti-American sentiment - and Harry "The Gelding" Reid falls right into the trap of the fear of being called weak on national security while actually weakening national security by keeping Guantanamo open. Keeping us "less safe" using his own words.
Harry E. (the 'E' stands for 'eunuch') Reid: Douchebag of the Week

* Only Senators Durbin (D-IL), Harkin (D-IA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Reed (D-RI) and Whitehouse (D-RI) voted against cutting the funds to close Gitmo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dana Rohrabacher: Greenland Was Once Green!

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Doucheburgh) doesn't believe in global warming. It's all a big power and money grab. How does he know? Because Greenland was green a thousand years ago. Someone should let Rohrabacher in on a little secret.

How do people like this get voted into office again? I'd like to see a Stupid Match between Rohrabacher and Michele Bachmann. Lock them in a room and see who survives.

This Is Why Joe Scarborough Sucks

Despite facts, despite history, he knows more than anyone in the room, will proudly announce it and nothing you say, even when the facts fall on your side of the argument, can change the mind of a man who is all-knowing. What a sad, sad fool.

Waterboarding works because Scarborough says so. Case closed.

More Stupid Than Humans Should Allow

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Doucheland):

– “I would also point out that CO2, carbon dioxide, is not a pollutant in any normal definition of the term. … I am creating it as I talk to you. It’s in your Coca-Cola, you’re Dr. Pepper, your Perrier water. It is necessary for human life. It is odorless, colorless, tasteless, does not cause cancer, does not cause asthma.”

– “And something that the Democrat sponsors do not point out, a lot of the CO2 that is created in the United States is naturally created. You can’t regulate God. Not even the Democratic majority in the US Congress can regulate God.”

– “If you think greenhouse gases are bad, life couldn’t exist without greenhouse gases. … So, there is a, there is a climate theory — and it’s a theory, it’s not a fact, it’s never been proven — that increasing concentrations of CO2 in the upper atmosphere somehow interact to trap more heat than the atmosphere would otherwise.”

— “You know, that life style is going to become more and more difficult if you get these vehicles smaller and smaller and less and less efficient in terms of being able to travel distances without having to recharge or refuel.”

I'm not making this up. Here's the video.

(H/T Think Progress)

Rep. David Obey Calls Out CIA As Well

Sam Stein: Yet another Democrat in Congress [Rep. David Obey (D-WI)] is alleging that the CIA included incorrect information in its records about past congressional briefings on interrogation policies.

I can't wait until the first Republican with a backbone comes out and does the same. Then maybe there won't be this partisan distraction of a Pelosi witch hunt and they'll actually look into the shoddiness of which CIA notes were kept. The lack of accuracy in the CIA briefings is both stunning and frightening.

It Only Took A Week For Insurance Lobby To Backstab Obama

Last week, President Obama met with business leaders to discuss cutting healthcare costs. Two days earlier, he hosted a meeting with healthcare insurance providers who voluntarily offered $2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years just by honing their efficiency standards.

Well, it only took a week for the insurance lobby to don their Roman togas and play Brutus and Julius Caesar. Et tu, Blue Cross?

Think Progress:

...In less than five days, the insurers not only broke that promise, but the Washington Post reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has drafted ads aimed at smearing the President’s proposed public health insurance plan.

The Post obtained a copy of the
story boards for the ads attacking the public plan. The description for one ad depicts a woman trapped in a hallway of locked doors:

[The mother's hand tries another door, as her child begins to get visibly anxious and restless. Still no luck. In rapid-fire succession, we see their hands trying a series of doorknobs. The pair is seen making their way to the next door, as the tension builds. It seems as if their search may be fruitless.]

While “innocent-sounding piano music, vaguely reminiscent of a nursery rhyme” plays in the background of this increasingly dramatic scene, the narrator intones:

“We can do a lot better than a government-run health care system.”

Rather than being an honest partner in the debate on health reform, the health insurance industry appears to be launching a campaign of misinformation aimed at sinking any serious prospect for change. The leader of the trade group representing the health insurance lobby, Karen Ignagni, made headlines earlier this year when she promised to the President, “you have our commitment, to play, to contribute and to pass health care reform this year.” Curiously, the date on the ad storyboard is May 9th, meaning that at least one major health insurance company has been secretly planning to assault health reform for several weeks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nancy Pelosi Action Figure...

... complete with waterboard for only $49.95.

...Classy. Still looking for the Dick Cheney doll with the wheelchair accessory and optional handicap ramps in his Secret Bunker of Doom™.

Jesse Ventura Continues His Torture Rant on The View

Elisabeth Hasselbeck continues to defend torture. Ventura sets her straight. She also tries to fudge the facts of KSM giving up all pertinent information after he was waterboarded when the fact is that it was before he was waterboarded.

The interesting part is that she shows she's not stupid. She's overmatched by the facts and Jesse Ventura so she throws the kitchen sink at him including Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, as if they were the architects of "enhanced interrogation." Ventura never flinches and doesn't get sidetracked.

President Obama's Notre Dame Commencement Speech

Text here.

David Axelrod: "Everybody here sort of lives with the reality that the president is the best speechwriter in the group."

(H/T Paddy)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This Ain't Your Ordinary Bush Military Tribunal

Let's not get our panties all in a bunch. There's been a lot of talk about how the Obama administration is just a continuation of the Bush years, especially this last week with the reversal on releasing more detainee abuse photos (which I addressed earlier in the week) and now with President Obama's decision to continue military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees. But let's get one thing straight: Dubya and Dick aren't running things anymore.

Robert Gibbs: "...first and foremost the President of the United States is going to do what he believes is in the best security interests of the people of the United States.

I think military commissions have a long tradition in the United States. The President spoke in 2006 in his belief that military courts and commissions had a role to play in the detainees that were at Guantanamo Bay, but also spoke forcefully about the notion that the system that had been first set up and ruled unconstitutional, and then passed legislatively and largely ruled
unconstitutional again by the Supreme Court, wasn’t working. And I think the best way to understand why it wasn’t working -- and when I say "wasn’t working," I mean, wasn’t working in seeking swift and certain justice for families of victims as well as the American people because in about eight years -- a little less than eight years’ time -- exactly three cases had gone through military commissions.

The President, as I said, during the debate said that properly structured military commissions had a role to play. The changes that he is seeking he believes will ensure the protections that are necessary for these to be conducted in order to reach that certain justice as well as live up to our values.

...statements that have been obtained from detainees using cruel, inhumane, and degrading interrogation methods will no longer be admitted as evidence at trial.

Second, the use of hearsay will be limited so that the burden will no longer be on the party who objects to hearsay to disprove its reliability.

Third, the accused will have greater latitude in selecting their counsel.

Fourth, basic protections will be provided for those who refuse to testify.

And fifth, military commission judges may establish the jurisdiction of their own courts.

Again, if you look back through the arc of this process beginning back in 2001 and 2002 through Supreme Court making decisions in 2005, moving this to the venue of Congress in 2006, and the legislation that the President supported that came out of the Senate Armed Services Committee with strong bipartisan support -- four Republican senators joining all the Democrats involved -- in passing legislation that the President believes met the goals of instituting swift and certain justice and the protections adequate enough to be reviewed by courts, and believes so."

Stating that this is simply a continuation of the Bush policies without noting the changes is being disingenuous.

Rumsfeld's Bible Thumping

What the fuck?!

Frank Rich: This Sunday, GQ magazine is posting on its Web site an article adding new details to the ample dossier on how Donald Rumsfeld’s corrupt and incompetent Defense Department cost American lives and compromised national security. The piece is not the work of a partisan but the Texan journalist Robert Draper, author of “Dead Certain,” the 2007 Bush biography that had the blessing (and cooperation) of the former president and his top brass. It draws on interviews with more than a dozen high-level Bush loyalists.

Draper reports that Rumsfeld’s monomaniacal determination to protect his Pentagon turf led him to hobble and antagonize America’s most willing allies in Iraq, Britain and Australia, and even to undermine his own soldiers. But Draper’s biggest find is a collection of daily cover sheets that Rumsfeld approved for the Secretary of Defense Worldwide Intelligence Update, a highly classified digest prepared for a tiny audience, including the president, and often delivered by hand to the White House by the defense secretary himself. These cover sheets greeted Bush each day with triumphal color photos of the war headlined by biblical quotations. GQ is posting 11 of them, and they are seriously creepy.

Take the one dated April 3, 2003, two weeks into the invasion, just as Shock and Awe hit its first potholes. Two days earlier, on April 1, a panicky Pentagon had
begun spreading its hyped, fictional account of the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch to distract from troubling news of setbacks. On April 2, Gen. Joseph Hoar, the commander in chief of the United States Central Command from 1991-94, had declared on the Times Op-Ed page that Rumsfeld had sent too few troops to Iraq. And so the Worldwide Intelligence Update for April 3 bullied Bush with Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Including, as it happened, into a quagmire.)

What’s up with that? As Draper writes, Rumsfeld is not known for ostentatious displays of piety. He was cynically playing the religious angle to seduce and manipulate a president who frequently quoted the Bible. But the secretary’s actions were not just oily; he was also taking a risk with national security. If these official daily collages of Crusade-like messaging and war imagery had been leaked, they would have reinforced the Muslim world’s apocalyptic fear that America was waging a religious war. As one alarmed Pentagon hand told Draper, the fallout “would be as bad as Abu Ghraib.”

Read the entire article.