Recently in Dick Cheney Category

I got a chance to catch the late night rerun of the House Subcommittee hearing with John Yoo and David Addington

Blue Texan dubbed Addington a "Major Dick." Some correction is in order since we all know Addington works for a dick. Ergo, the proper honorific would of course be, "Lieutenant Dick."

From now on, the Vice President, at least this one, will be forever know as a barnacle.

I came away from the hearing with one glimmer of hope for our society. Kieth Ellison (D-MN-05 is an impressive young man. Especially in light of the crap he had to put up with from these two professional dissemblers.

I hadn't had the chance to see the freshman congressman in action yet, and in a hall full of old men used to debating the finer points of archaic legal precedents, he stood out as a bright firebrand. Sharp as a tack.

Ellison's place in history was secure at the first Muslim to be seated in the House of Representatives, and the coup he pulled off by being sworn in on Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Koran made him the stuff of legend. But to watch him try and cut to the chase against Teh Stupid was a pleasure.

We who don't live in Minnesota or obsessively watch CSPAN (who you lookin' at?) only know him from the slurs by Reich-Wing Blogistan that he and his IslamoNazi army are in cahoots with B. Hussein O-Bambi to blow up the Rose Bowl or something. Happily I can now report that we should be disabused of this paranoia.

Not only the people of Minnesota's 5th District, but all Americans should be proud to have someone with more than half a brain there in the halls of Congress, and Keith Ellison definitely fits that bill and then some. Folks, he sure seems to me like one of the good guys.

KO's Special Comments are not, often, easy to watch. He dials it up to 11 every time and then, after that, there's nowhere else left for him to go.

But you know what? In the end, he's the only guy who says what needs to be said. In the context of cable and network news, only one person -- Keith Olbermann -- delivers the unvarnished truth.

And speaking of context, KO thrashes McCain for complaining that his "not that important" comment was taken out of context:

You have attested to: a fairly easy success; an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time; in which we would be welcomed as liberators; which you assured us would not require our troops stay for decades but merely for years; from which we could bring them all home, since you noted many Iraqis resent American military presence; in which all those troops coming home will also stay there, not being injured, for a hundred years; but most will be back by 2013; and the timing of their return, is "not that important."

That, Sen. McCain, is context.

And that, Sen. McCain, is madness.

The Government Accountability Office just released a study Tuesday that concludes that one out of every ten soldiers sent to Iraq, takes with them medical problems "severe enough to significantly limit their ability to fight."

In five years, we have now sent 43-thousand of them to war even though, they were already wounded.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Jalal al Din al Sagir, a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and Ali al Adeeb, of the rival Dawa Political Party, gave a series of interviews last week about the particulars of this country’s demand for a "Status of Forces," agreement with Iraq, a treaty which Mr. Bush does not intend to show Congress before he signs it.

The Iraqi politicians say the treaty demands Iraq’s consent to the establishment of nearly double the number of U.S. military bases in Iraq, from about 30, to 58, and from temporary, to permanent.

Those will be American men and women who must, of necessity, staff these bases - staff them, in Mr. McCain’s M.C. Escher dream-world in which our people can all come home while they stay there for a hundred years but they’ll be back by 2013.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Make you a deal: if watching Keith Olbermann is too exhausting for you, read the transcript. But if you want the full multi-media experience -- something at which KO and MSNBC excel -- let's go to the tape:

It's not what you hoped for.

MSNBC reported that a power outage in Washington DC has left the center of the city dark. Although the White House has adequate backup generators, Vice President Cheney has opted to leave the White House and return to his home at the Naval Observatory "to work."

While this news is unremarkable in itself, it brings a few questions to mind.

  • Just what is Dick working on while (still) Prez-Nit-Wit Shrub is is running around Europe, looking for another world leader to grope and insult?
  • Why would he need more power than the White House backup generators could supply?
  • Why did AT&T refuse to let me log in and pay my bill while Dick was off-line?
  • What the heck does that scary man DO all day, really?

by Mark Adams

I remember it almost like it was yesterday, trying to outdo other bloggers with cute little names for the guy I called Scotty McManequin: Scott-bot 3000, McClellatron, Scottie McLiar, McClerrator -- good times.

Today, Politico's Mike Allen bypassed the embargoed publication of McClellan's tell-all book by (get this) buying it in a Washington DC bookstore a week before its scheduled release date and documents the atrocities Scotty lays bare in "whacking" Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby and the whole merry band of criminal conspirators who "propagandized" us into war, lied about outing Valerie Plame, and twiddled their thumbs "in shock" for a week during the Katrina mess (much like Bush did upon learning the news of planes crashing into building as he sat stupidly in that classroom).

McClellan also skewers the mainstream press.

"If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq.

"The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. … In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served."

Next thing you know, Scottie will be referring to the Beltway establishment as Villagers. Funny how some decidedly non-mainstream media folks, my favorite rhetorical bomb throwers The Young Turks, were on this story six months ago, as was Shakes and a few other easily dismissed libs.

I love these guys. Figures that they're not even on Air America anymore. What a shame.

Comedy and Tragedy

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by shep

Let it be recorded that on April 15, 2008, Comedy Central’s Daily Show spent more time on the recently revealed fact that the Vice President of the United States and all of the top cabinet officials of the Bush Administration repeatedly met in secret, in the White House, and conspired to break federal and international law to specify how unconvicted detainees of the United States would be tortured by US government agents, than all of the three major broadcast network news organizations combined, since the story broke four days ago.

Now I understand that one of the jobs of the Court Jester, during Medieval times, was to reveal the criticisms of the day to the King’s Court which could never be spoken by its sycophants. But, in the 21st Century democracy that is the world’s sole superpower, has its once-vaunted network television press completely and shamelessly abdicated its role to inform the public of what serves the public interest to cable comedy faux news shows? The answer is, apparently, yes. Well done, Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and (this says it all, really) Katie Couric. You are a miserable failure to your country.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

by shep

Some people think Michael Mukasey was lying when he stated publicly, “We've got three thousand people who went to work that day and didn't come home to show for… a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn't know precisely where it went.”

But Michael Mukasey is the Attorney General of the United States, the highest law enforcement officer of the country. He’s also an ex-federal judge who knows that under contemporaneous federal law the Bush Administration could have wiretapped that call and learned where it went and, possibly, thwarted the 9/11 attacks.

Could it possibly be that anyone, even a Republican, would lie about such a thing just to hide the illegal conduct of George Bush, Dick Cheney and AT&T? Any way you slice it, what would you call such traitors to their oaths of office and duty to the public? Oops, I guess I just did.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

Shorter Bush White House:

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OK, the dirty hippies were right about everything.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

[cross posted at Daily Kos]

Notwithstanding Krugman, it looks like a narrative is forming for the general election, and trust me, you've heard this song before: firmness versus nuance. It's a Republican frame and that means the traditional media will be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that means there was only one winner (see below).

But first, hear me out:

To the extent that Edwards (and Obama) attacked Clinton on being "for it and against it at the same time," it helps the Republicans as much as it helps any Democrat. Why? Because, for Republicans, right and wrong don't matter -- only firmness and resolve matter. [Note: did I miss something or did Edwards pass when it came to declaring his position on Spitzer's proposal?]

Granted, Edwards is showing he, too, has cojones. The problem for Edwards comes later -- during the general election. Far more people believe Giuliani and/or McCain have the stones than believe Edwards does. So, down the line, Edwards may only have himself to blame. That's what happens when candidates accept their opponents' frame -- it leaves your opponent with plenty of ammunition during the general.

Also: another Republican frame is going to be fear. So when the debate turns to drivers' licenses for immigrants (as it will for at least the next few days) I'll give you one guess as to who that helps. Hint: It ain't the Democrats. [UPDATE: Jonathan Singer addresses the pros and cons of the issue.]

Deal with it: fear is a Republican frame. Fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, free-floating fear of "colored people." In fact, racial fear will be the most potent theme that the Republican base responds to.

And Giuliani is all about racial fear. Clinton? Buddies with Charlie Rangel and everyone in Harlem (just ask O'Reilly). Edwards --helping those in poverty? Please. You know who that helps, right? Obama? Too black. Not black enough. Can't make up his mind about what his race is. Except we know he's soft. Soft on Islamofascists. And you know what color their skin is.

Bottom line: the real winner last night was George W. Bush. And, by extension, his rightful heir: Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani who (like Cheney and Bush) has made his career out of fear. Long before 9/11, he made a name for himself by appearing at -- and later, as mayor, ordering police riots. And that's not to mention the infamous killing of Amadou Diallo. In fact, before this is over, the 9/11 thing may very well have fallen by the wayside, having been exposed as his weak spot, not his strength. His strength? Giuliani is the one virulent, determined, resolute, angry white male who will stick it to em, once and for all, wink wink nudge nudge.

Will the Dems be ready for that? As I see it, the only way to be truly ready is to be prepared to hang Bush around Rudy's neck and let him sink to the bottom of the fetid ocean he swims in. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Who among the Dems is ready to do that?

Because you know Rudy's coming for you. Don't say you weren't warned.

Iran: Ever-Ready Trump Card

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Cunning Realist:

Make no mistake: the administration is now in damn-the-torpedoes mode on the economy and financial markets. The housing market must not be in the headlines a year from now. The stock market must be at or near its highs when the administration leaves office so capital gains can be realized at good prices before a Democratic president raises taxes, and so apologists can point to the Dow and claim for the next few generations that Bush's fiscal policy "worked."
The solution? Blame it on Iran!
Do you think this particular administration will sit by idly if oil goes to $100, then $110, then $120 -- and a gallon of gas hits $4 in some areas during next summer's driving season, just a few months before the election? "Unrest in Nigeria" and "refinery problems in Texas" (and lately "Turkey-Kurd tensions") have limited shelf life as excuses. Statists hate pressure, but they fear consequences -- particularly when the culpability is both obvious and unavoidable.

This is why keeping Iran as an ever-ready trump card is so important. If those consequences get bad enough and no excuse will do, the use of force must be at least minimally plausible to the public and the rest of the world. In the meantime, the tension -- preferably continuous and drawn-out -- created by the mere possibility of a military strike is useful as an ongoing excuse for the spiraling price of oil...

Don't say we weren't warned. You know it's coming.

War Cost: Sticker Shock

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Here it is -- we (you and I) are slated to spend $2.4 trillion (with a T) over the next 10 years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The White House brushed off the estimate as too conditional. "It's just a ton of speculation," said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "We don't know how much the war is going to cost in the future."
Better not to think about the future. Same goes for how we got here -- that's the past and we certainly don't want to dwell on that either. All there is, is today. Live in the moment! That's the ticket.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said voters were suffering from "sticker shock...America's future is being held hostage by the cost of the war," he said.
His concern would be most admirable if it wasn't totally covered in crap. Why doesn't he just say "no" to more funding? Why doesn't he, you know, lead the way to ending the war?

It reminds me of something I saw while watching the trailer for that new Robert Redford movie, Lions for Lambs. In it, Reford's character said this:

"They bank on your apathy. They plan strategies around it...The problem is not with the people who started this. The problem is with us -- who do nothing."
Don't just sit there: call your Congressman. NOW.

Call Rahm Emanuel.

Call Nancy Pelosi.

Tell them -- again, as many times as it takes -- "no." Just "no."

"The problem is with us who do nothing."


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