Sunday, June 08, 2008

Inhofe Sends Message To Troops

Senator James Inhofe R-Oklahoma has voted against every bill that would support our troops. From Health care to body armor to more time between deployments, Inhofe has steadfastly backed the Bush vanity protection racket of chickenhawk neocons and turned his back on our troops.

He is already running ads on the teevee in Oklahoma, trying to define himself before the truth of his absolutely pitiful record reaches the people. Even staunch war opponents do not try and deny health care and body armor for our troops as Jim Inhofe has done.

The Oklahoma Veterans are not fooled by Senator Inhofe's false claims of supporting the troops:

Senator Inhofe has become an international punch-line and an embarrassment to Oklahoma. It is time for him to go,

The War

It should not be overlooked that the war in Iraq played a huge role in the Democratic primary. One candidate voted for the war and the other opposed it. Senator Obama repeatedly pointed out his opposition to the war and should be noted his judgement played a key role in his victory.

Now, as the presumptive leader of the Democratic party, we would hope Senator Obama would step forward and deny any retro-active immunity for illegal Telecommunication wire-tapping by forcing the Democrats in line.

Also, as an opponent to the war, what does he plan to do with the architects of it, who are now benefiting from the right-wing welfare system?

CLARKE: Well, there may be some other kind of remedy. There may be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission process that’s been tried in other countries, South Africa, Salvador and what not, where if you come forward and admit that you were in error or admit that you lied, admit that you did something, then you’re forgiven. Otherwise, you are censured in some way.

Now, I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society and give them jobs on university boards and corporate boards and just let them pretend that nothing ever happened when there are 4,000 Americans dead and 25,000 Americans grieviously wounded, and they’ll carry those wounds and suffer all the rest of their lives.

A lot of these characters were around with Nixon and Vietnam and some were involved with Iran-Contra. If Bush does not offer a blanket pardon for the whole sorry lot of them, they should be held accountable, since we know they'll be back.

And The Winner Is...

Barack Obama.

Not since Gollum biting the ring from Frodo inside Mount Doom has such a lengthy, exhaustive and suspensful quest been concluded.

I have pretty much stayed out of the Democratic primary for purely agnostic reasons. I didn't even vote in the Oklahoma primary, since my guy, John Edwards, pulled out before the vote. I felt either candidate, Barack or Hillary, brought specific skill sets to benefit America and would be vastly superior over any of the Republican choices.

It was an inevitable reality that the conclusion of this primary would be bittersweet; a profound sense of loss would be commingled with the euphoria of victory. This was magnified by our Corporate media doing all they could to reign in an obvious Democratic juggernaut by constantly parroting charges of sexism and racism, often using these tactics themselves.

Now, the task of binding wounds and closing ranks must begin, and it will not be an easy thing. Many women voters are upset at Barack Obama, feeling he jumped his place in line--that it was Hillary's turn--and Obama stole the party's nomination from her. Consequently, it will be very difficult to win these votes, when they feel it was a woman's turn in the White House.

I find the notion of someone "taking votes" from someone else curious. Much like Ralph Nader in 2000. Votes do not belong to one candidate or the other, they belong to the voters who cast them. It is up to the campaign to identify and attract these votes.

Obama simply had a better campaign than Senator Clinton and a candidate must assemble a strong campaign.

Of course none of this allays the supreme bitterness felt by many women, including my own mother, who at this point cannot see herself voting for "that man."

I find myself struggling with my own prejudices against Senator Obama. I have never been presented with the option of voting for someone like him, and I am certain I am not alone in this situation. I am certain I will vote for Obama, but it is a struggle, because for the first time I will cast a vote for someone younger than me for President of The United States.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Double Talk

Who wrote this?
It was a shameful thing to ask men to suffer and die, to persevere through god-awful afflictions and heartache, to endure the dehumanizing experiences that are unavoidable in combat, for a cause that the country wouldn’t support over time and that our leaders so wrongly believed could be achieved at a smaller cost than our enemy was prepared to make us pay. No other national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war. If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone.

This was the forward to Halberstam's The Best And The Brightest written by Republican Presidential presumptive nominee, John McCain. As a blogger, I understand McCain's proclivity to flipping and flopping to politically pander. But our Beltway Insider Village Press Corps have dubbed the Senator from Arizona with the kewl name of Maverick.

Would it be too much to ask for some stenographer (aka reporter) to ask Mcthusala about these comments? Does he truly believe it is criminal to continue a war that lacks "unshakable resolve" especially in light of The New York Times story of the Pentagon's propaganda campaign, Scott McClellan's new book and the Senate findings that the Bush administration was deceptive in its use of intelligence presented to the American people prior to the war?

Is he also "shameful" and does he "wrongly believe?"

Please, someone, ask the question.

H/T Digby

Sunday, June 01, 2008

They Think We Are Stupid

The media, that is. Part of Scotty McClellan's new book that is creating such a firestorm is his claim that the stenographic nature of todays media is partially responsible for the disaster that is named Iraq.

In a resounding harumph, our media elites respond by giving face time with an endless parade of critics turning Scotty into a pinata.

This is their chickenshit way of avoiding culpability for the death and destruction resulting from being mere publishers of Pentagon/Bush blast fax publishers. Two primary deniers of a meek and compliant press corps are Charlie Gibson and David Gregory.

Both use some version of SEP-- Somebody else's problem, or, not my job. Brian Williams tries to split the baby by claiming it was a cultural thing, in the aftermath of 9/11.

Here is Charlie Gibson:
I think the questions were asked. I respectfully disagree with the gentle lady from the Columbia Broadcasting System [group giggles]. I think the questions were asked. . . . I can remember getting in trouble with administration officials for asking questions they didn't feel comfortable with.

It was just a drumbeat of support from the administration. And it is not our job to debate them; it's our job to ask the questions.

Indeed. If my interpretation of my job as a truck driver were so narrowly defined, it would be possible for more American deaths and mutilations to happen. Sorry for that analogy, Charlie, but I could not resist. People sometimes do not use turn signals, but I do not smugly squash entire families because "mind reader" is not in my job description.

So what kind of jaw-cracking questions did Charlie ask? via Glenn Greenwald:

On February 6, 2003 -- the day of Powell's speech -- Gibson had on as guests former CIA Director James Woolsey and Terence Taylor of the International Institute For Strategic Studies to analyze Powell's claims. Here are some of the super-tough, skeptical questions Gibson asked:

* Terence Taylor, let me start with you. Specifically, of all the biological and chemical weapons that he outlined, and the means of delivery, what's the most frightening? Should be the most frightening?

* Question number two that was in my mind. James Woolsey, he showed intercepts, he showed photo intelligence. He talked about human resources that we had. How much intelligence was compromised?

* On a scale of one to 10, one being the most sanitized of intelligence information and 10 being laying out all our intelligence ammunition, where was he yesterday on the scale?

* Terence Taylor, as I look at some of the pictures that we were talking about just a moment ago with James Woolsey, the pictures dramatic in that they show Iraqi trucks pulling away from sites virtually as the, as the inspectors trucks are pulling up. How compromised are the inspectors there? Are they totally infiltrated by Iraqi intelligence?

Here's how the segment ended:

James Woolsey, the Iraqis immediately challenged a lot of what was shown, said it was altered, said it was doctored. The international community -- do they know that stuff was genuine?


Oh, anybody who is objective about this I think does. The people who now doubt whether or not Saddam really has WMD programs, chemical and bacteriological, in particular, are really of two types, either they work for Saddam or they're doing a human imitation of an ostrich. There really are, I think, no other possibilities.


James Woolsey, former CIA Director, Terence Taylor, former weapons inspector, I thank you both.

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? According to Charlie Gibson, who digs in his heels and bristles at the idea of a codling lapdog press corps, these are the type of hard hitting questions that shine the light of truth on Governmental policy for the American public. Placing two Administration tool talking point pez dispensers on his show and asking if Americans should be more terrified of cooties or the sooper sekrit intell that cooties are stockpiled in Iraq.

David Gregory says the right questions were asked:

Not only that, but he completely rebukes any culpability by blaming everyone else, even going so far as blaming Bill Clinton, the apparent shield of choice for anything that goes wrong these days.

These guys would be funny if they were not so pathetic. They work in the field of mass communications, but it is as if they are completely unaware that there are recording devices. Here is an example of David Gregory asking the right questions before the war in Iraq.

Q Mr. President, good evening. If you order war, can any military operation be considered a success if the United States does not capture Saddam Hussein, as you once said, dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope we don’t have to go to war, but if we go to war, we will disarm Iraq. And if we go to war, there will be a regime change. And replacing this cancer inside of Iraq will be a government that represents the rights of all the people, a government which represents the voices of the Shia and Sunni and the Kurds.

We care about the suffering of the Iraqi people. I mentioned in my opening comments that there’s a lot of food ready to go in. There’s something like 55,000 oil-for-food distribution points in Iraq. We know where they are. We fully intend to make sure that they’re — got ample food. We know where their hospitals are; we want to make sure they’ve got ample medical supplies. The life of the Iraqi citizen is going to dramatically improve.

Q Sir, I’m sorry, is success contingent upon capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, in your mind?

THE PRESIDENT: We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people.

Easy there Dave, try not to be so disagreeable with Bush. Not to worry though, if the Democrats retake the White House, you can bet we will once again have a confrontational and cynical press corps, dutifully rifling through the panty drawers and high school signature pages no matter what the approval rating is. I just don't know how to fix this.