Wednesday, November 30, 2005

McCarthyism Is Back

And of course, it is back with Faux News' finest, Bill O'Reilly.

His Enemies List:

A Message from Bill: Media Operations that Traffic in Defamation

The following media operations have regularly helped distribute defamation and false information supplied by far left websites:

New York Daily News

The St. Petersburg Times


These are the worst offenders. In the months to come, we expect to add more names to this list. We recommend that you do not patronize these operations and that advertisers do the same. They are dishonest and not worth your time and money.

For anyone on Fox, not to mention the misinformer of the year, to say anything about honesty is in its own right hilarious. But to print an enemies list while at the same time championing the spirit of Christmas seems to me perverted. Pass the falafel.

Also, do you support a troop pullout, you little Hitler lover?

Democrats 2006 Slogan

I have no idea who created this and to that person I say thank you. Also, thanks to Roger for forwarding it to me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Who was the ad wizard that came up with this one?

Printing Money.

Monday, November 28, 2005

MSGOP's "Liberal" Commentator

Chris Matthews is such a douchebag. Here's an example of a really objective balanced guy and how he uses MSGOP's airwaves:

"I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left -- I mean -- like him personally."

And Atrios, a blogger, provides something Matthews, a pundit, did not- the actual poll numbers (fav/unfav, via

Hotline: 41/56
NBC/WSJ: 38/50
Zogby: 47/50
CBS: 33/51
FOX: 45/49
PEW: 46/51

Wow, even a majority of lefty whack-jobs in the Fox poll. What the hell is this country coming to? Nora? Can't they see his authenticity?

War Profiteer Resigns

No, not Bush or Cheney silly, but just another shining example of the moral values crowd: Republican Representative Duke Cunningham.

Hey, has anyone seen my Contract With America?

Dude, It's Wicked Warm, Guy


Shafts of ancient ice pulled from Antarctica's frozen depths show that for at least 650,000 years three important heat-trapping greenhouse gases never reached recent atmospheric levels caused by human activities, scientists are reporting today.

The measured gases were carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Concentrations have risen over the last several centuries at a pace far beyond that seen before humans began intensively clearing forests and burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels.
Experts familiar with the findings who were not involved with the research said the samples provided a vital long-term view of variations in the atmosphere and Antarctic climate. They say the data will help test and improve computer models used to forecast how accumulating greenhouse emissions will affect the climate.

Some climate experts not involved in the research said the findings also confirmed that the buildup of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe emissions was taking the atmosphere into uncharted territory.

The longest previous record of carbon dioxide fluctuations, compiled from ice cores collected at the Russian research station at Vostok, in East Antarctica, goes back slightly more than 400,000 years.

"They've now pushed back two-thirds of a million years and found that nature did not get as far as humans have," said Richard B. Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University who is an expert on ice cores. "We're changing the world really hugely - way past where it's been for a long time."

James White, a geology professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, not involved with the study, said that although the ice-age evidence showed that levels of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases rose and fell in response to warming and cooling, the gases could clearly take the lead as well.

"CO2 and climate are like two people handcuffed to each other," he said. "Where one goes, the other must follow. Leadership may change, or they may march in step, but they are never far from each other. Our current CO2 levels appear to be far out of balance with climate when viewed through these results, reinforcing the idea that we have significant modern warming to go."

The new data from the ice cores also provides the first detailed portrait of conditions during ice-age cycles that occurred more than 400,000 years ago - a point in Earth's two-million-year history of cold periods and warm intervals after which some unknown influence lengthened ice ages and shortened and amplified the warm periods.

Both before and after that transition, the ice record shows, there was always a tight relationship between amounts of the greenhouse gases and air temperature.

I still have friends that insist that global warming is not real, and that we are not the cause of the Earth's rise in temperature. The scientific consensus is overwhelming but the energy industry-funded "science" is what is still getting out there muddiing the water. I hope this article clears up any doubt. Remember, the Pentagon sees global warming as more of a threat to our national security than terrorism. We started a war against terrorism, but for some reason still drive Hummers in citys with no mountains. Props to Laurie David for her open letter to scumbag Bill Ford, her incredible work on this issue and for highlighing the Times article.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Can you imagine the nightmare if Bush ever touched something like this?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Read me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Is There Life After Theo?

You Beckett Your Ass There Is!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Good Stuff

Some good interviews from Vegoose. Trey actually opens up about how he thinks his new band doesn't really compare to Phish.

Also, my bad for the slow week of posts. I have been extremely busy and then the entire apt. building I live in has been without the internet for a few days.

Facts and Balanced

As they say, Only on Fox

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

How Cowards Defend Themselves


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Who feels safer?

First seven minutes to respond to attack.
Then a few days to respond to Katrina.
And now the Moonie Times has this little bit for us.

I'll ask again, who feels safer?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fuck You Bill O'Reilly

View of Coit Tower from my living room.

What a disgrace. (more)

Here's my letter to Bill that, in all likelihood, won't make it the airwaves...

Dear Bill,
Fuck you. When you suggested that Al Queda blow up a firefighter's memorial because sensible San Francisco voters like myself chose to bar the military from aggressively recruiting in under- funded high schools, you sent a obscene message to firefighters, the citizens of this great city, and the nation. That message: If you don't accept the military in places of learning, then it is ok for fanatical extremists to destroy your city and its monuments to those first responders to terrorist attacks. And not only that, that you actually advised the President of the United States to announce that this would be a safe haven for attacks, without retribution, was about as low brow as it gets. So in that spirit, I ask that you read on.

Remember when Pope John Paul was against the war.... maybe you would like it if Al Queda blew up the Vatican. It seems only fair since since you two disagreed on that whole "message of Christ" thing.

Ohh and maybe because your such a lying sack of shit, if someone blew up the school where your children go, that would be fair game right? I mean hey, I mean absolutly no harm to your children, Spencer and Madeline, but what's fair is fair and if you are going to dole out such heavy handed punishments for people that disagree with your narrow ideology, I think it is only right that you accept the reciprocation for your lies. Even if that involves people that were innocent victims, like your children or say me, my girlfriend, my neighbors, or tourists in my neighborhood that would be killed inside the tower that you deemed not to be "off limits."

And why shouldn't we all die? We voted in an election set up by a Republican. Frankly, I am surprised I haven't been murdered already. What was I thinking excercising my right as an American? In fact as I write this I have turned off all the lights so that no one flying a plane into my neighborhood sees us from the sky... I'd say evacuate the tower to all the workers in there, but why bother, they truly deserve to be murdered for disagreeing with Donald Rumsfeld and your sorry ass.

Ooohh I know, here's a good tit for tat... maybe if Al Queda members raped you while you were tied up in the cockpit of a plane that was flying straight into the Fox News headquarters that would be justified. And right before they slammed the plane into that satanic amplification system you call a news channel, they made you drink the piss of teenage muslims and forced you to apologize for your career of telling obvious lies, that would be o.k., yeah? Fair and balanced?

Hey look, the punishment should fit the crime, right? And if you are going to go on lying and also advising terrorists to blow up firefighter memorials, than I think you should be raped while on a terrorist mission and forced to drink other people's urine. That's just how I feel.

Or maybe if Al Queda forced you to do an atomic situp into Rush Limbaugh's flatulating asshole while the sounds of your wife, Maureen McPhilmy, being murdered was the only thing you could hear over the thunder of ol' Rushbo, that would be justfied because, well, I tend to disagree with your whole claim of being not only "Fair and Balanced" but also a guy "looking out for" me. We disagree, so senseless murder and torture should be fair retribution, at least if we are playing by your rules.

Should Andrea Mackis, your former employee, be murdered for bringing charges of sexual harassment against you? A big tough guy like you, a guy who loves freedom and the truth and then bam!, the whole world knows you're a fraud. Remember the "great mental strain, anguish and severe emotional distress,” you felt after she filed suit against you for your mastabatory phone calls and falafel references? Wasn't it horrible that the timing of her suit fell right in line with your promotional tour for "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" (a book where I am guessing you advise kids on how to remain ignorant, tough sounding, and afraid of change)? But I'll tell ya, if someone exposed me like that, and it was... what was it you said about that lawsuit... oh yeah, "baseless" "extortion," I would sure as hell want to vindicate myself at least before I advised Al Queda on which tower she might live in. And you did promise to fight it untill the end, but then, like a coward who is exposed as a fraudulent wimp with an odd sexual fetish, you settled out of court so the world wouldn't have to hear those tapes of your calls to her. You truly are a genuine, no spin, tough guy. Forget Andrea, I think it should be you who is punished for going back on your word to fight the suit. Not only that, you also did something totally unAmerican when you masturbated over the phone while telling Ms Mackris that you would stick a falefel in her vagina. I mean Christ man, your the proprieter of some sort of 'dimension of straight talk' and to do that to that poor girl (well, she ain't poor now, but that's besides the point) while maintaining such a fake moal highground day in and day out it is just unbelievable. I think a fair punishment would be... hmmmm.... letting Andrea slice off your penis until you bled to death and then as part of your punishment the only eulogy at your funeral would be the full recordings of your "conversations" with her.

On that note, I really didn't like your sexed up novel, Those Who Trespass, so I think it would be cool for the President to string up you severed limbs on the four corners of San Francisco, Braveheart style, to warn people of the punishment for writing trash. Fair is fair. We have a difference of opinion, you wrote a book, I didn't like it, so I think it would only be right if the most assinine, vulgar, and morally reprehensible reaction took place.

If I were so inclined, I would also advise the President to narrate the torture procedure from his podium in Union Square.

Let's examine what you said you cowardly closet queen:

... Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

First off, California gives more INTO the federal government than most other states, so please spare us the whole 'no more federal money for you' bullshit. And while we're on that topic, I am all for ending the welfare practice of California's tax revenue supporting states like Kansas where your viewership is undoubtedly high. Second, Coit Tower is a moument to firefighters and also a place where people work. Those people would undoubtedly be killed if you master plan for Al Queda went through. And then would you laugh at the disgusting irony of a firefighter tower crumbling to the ground crushing first responder firefighters you sick prick? And all this sensless killing for what? Banning military recruitment at high schools? We didn't vote against military recruiting everywhere, as you twice suggest by omission, just in schools. They can recruit anywhere else in town, but high schools are a place for learning... why is that so terrible? Are you demented? How could you have come up with the conclusion that the entire city was anti-military? Also, California's economy is the fifth largest in the world. We could be our own country, but from what I hear around town, people love being Americans. That's why here, you dont see people advising terrorists on what to blow up.

You know what Bill... I have read that you had an abusive father and all I can say is he didn't hit you hard enough. He should have knocked some sense into you and instead he just made you a coward with a microphone. A coward who hates democracy, hates the truth, and apparantly, hates firefighters. Someone that is so pent up with anger after a lifetime being beaten, that he takes it out on the rest of the world by being a bloviating liar with a pension for advising terrorists. And like most cowards, you're only a real big man when you have your microphone, your bodyguards, and your own sense of "I am tough because love his country more than you!" How you can get there while advising our enemies on how to destroy it is beyond me. Should I be murdered for that opinion by the way?

Bill, I want to know... Is advising Al Queda to destroy monuments to heroes and with that advising them to senslessly murder Americans something you learned in Catholic school or just how you show your patriotism? You know what, don't answer, I hope to never, ever, hear your disgusting voice again. And if we ever do cross paths, maybe I can finish the job that you father never could. And I won't be using a falafel or a plane.
Thanks for looking out for me.
Fuck you, coward.
Brian Geraghty

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Freedom is on the march!

Why stop at torture?

Tuesday's Gone...

... and so are all eight of the school board members in Dover, PA that supported teaching "intelligent design" in SCIENCE class. WooHooo!!!

How much news coverage of this GOoPer utter embarassment have you seen on the "liberal" media?

Also, I voted for the first time in CA and would you know it, alot of people voted the same way I did! All of Governor Scqcdhrartzanagerrrrraaffhhh's ballot initiatives failed, as they were polled to do over a year ago. So ignoring the polls and stubbornly refusing to work with the Democratic legislature, Arnold spent millions to take the questions to the people and the people soundly told him to fuck off. Those millions could have fixed roads, strengthened homeland security, and fixed schools, but hell, looking back it was a taxpayer funded campaign against this bad acid trip called the Governator.

And we have two new governors and they are both (gasp) Democrats!!! Corzine in NJ and Kaine in VA... In fact, President Bush campaigned on behalf of Jerry Kilgore in Virginia and it probably hurt Kilgore's chances of beating Governor-elect Tim Kaine. How sweet is that?

Republican's claim a victory in New York with Bloomberg, the most liberal Republican since Lincoln, winning reelection for mayor after outspending his opponent 10-1.

Also, Eric Alterman calls attention to the party of spending and torture: "$44billion: Torture Ain't Cheap." They want to investigate the black site leak, but not the torture or the black sites. Your moral values party, ladies and gentleman.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's

This is just insane. In keeping with the teachings of the "Prince of Peace" a pastor in Pasedena gave a sermon that denounced the war in Iraq. His church was recently warned by the IRS that their tax exempt status may be revoked. He didn't endorse a candidate, which lunatics like James Dobson and Pat Robertson blatantly do, he just denounced the war. So, if your church is pro-death penalty, pro-Bush, pro-war, pro-assassinate foreign leaders, anti-Kerry, anti-women's rights, and anti-teachings of Christ, you can keep your tax exempt status just as long as your footsoldiers show up at the polls for the right guy. If you dare actually preach turning the other cheek or non-violence or sensible foreign policy or criticize the fact that pre-emption is just about as unChristlike as it gets, well then, better call your accountant.

As you read the excerpt from the LA Times story below, think to yourself how many times you have been in church where the pastor has spoken out against abortion and then clearly linked that to which candidate he thought you should vote for. Think of all the times Pat Robertson has actively campaigned for the Cokehead-in-Chief. Remember the story about the pastor who told Kerry voters to leave the congregation? Did they get a similar letter? I think not. (For examples of how the Bush-Cheney campaign explicitly instructed churchgoers to campaign for Bush in their churches, see here.)

I don't know how many more examples of fascism I will need to see until it sinks in what has happened to this country.

Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.

In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991's Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.

But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, "Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster."

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

The letter went on to say that "our concerns are based on a Nov. 1, 2004, newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times and a sermon presented at the All Saints Church discussed in the article."

The IRS cited The Times story's description of the sermon as a "searing indictment of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq" and noted that the sermon described "tax cuts as inimical to the values of Jesus."

In an October letter to the IRS, Marcus Owens, the church's tax attorney and a former head of the IRS tax-exempt section, said, "It seems ludicrous to suggest that a pastor cannot preach about the value of promoting peace simply because the nation happens to be at war during an election season."

Owens said that an IRS audit team had recently offered the church a settlement during a face-to-face meeting. "They said if there was a confession of wrongdoing, they would not proceed to the exam stage. They would be willing not to revoke tax-exempt status if the church admitted intervening in an election."

The church declined the offer.

Long said Bacon "is fond of saying it's a sin not to vote, but has never told anyone how to vote. We don't do that. We preach to people how to vote their values, the biblical principles."


Some congregants were upset that a sermon citing Jesus Christ's championing of peace and the poor was the occasion for an IRS probe.

"I'm appalled," said 70-year-old Anne Thompson of Altadena, a professional singer who also makes vestments for the church.

"In a government that leans so heavily on religious values, that they would pull a stunt like this, it makes me heartsick."

Joe Mirando, an engineer from Burbank, questioned whether the 3,500-member church would be under scrutiny if it were not known for its activism and its liberal stands on social issues.

"The question is, is it politically motivated?" he said. "That's the underlying feeling of everyone here. I don't have enough information to make a decision, but there's a suspicion."

Regas' 2004 sermon imagined how Jesus would admonish Bush and Kerry if he debated them. Regas never urged parishioners to vote for one candidate over the other, but he did say that he believes Jesus would oppose the war in Iraq, and that Jesus would be saddened by Bush's positions on the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

In the sermon, Regas said, "President Bush has led us into war with Iraq as a response to terrorism. Yet I believe Jesus would say to Bush and Kerry: 'War is itself the most extreme form of terrorism. President Bush, you have not made dramatically clear what have been the human consequences of the war in Iraq.' "

Later, he had Jesus confront both Kerry and Bush: "I will tell you what I think of your war: The sin at the heart of this war against Iraq is your belief that an American life is of more value than an Iraqi life. That an American child is more precious than an Iraqi baby. God loathes war."

If Jesus debated Bush and Kerry, Regas said, he would say to them, "Why is so little mentioned about the poor?''

In his own voice, Regas said: ''The religious right has drowned out everyone else. Now the faith of Jesus has come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war and pro-American…. I'm not pro-abortion, but pro-choice. There is something vicious and violent about coercing a woman to carry to term an unwanted child."

When you go into the voting booth, Regas told the congregation, "take with you all that you know about Jesus, the peacemaker. Take all that Jesus means to you. Then vote your deepest values."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Things that make you go "Hmmm?"

From Media Matters:

Rosa Parks's memorial received scant coverage on Fox News
As 4,000 people gathered in Detroit to pay their final respects to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks during four hours of her funeral ceremony on November 2, Fox News devoted just 23 minutes of air time to live coverage, compared with 108 minutes of coverage on CNN and 100 on MSNBC. Dozens of politicians and business and religious leaders participated in the funeral ceremony for Parks at Greater Grace Temple. During the 1-2 pm hour, Fox did not cover the funeral at all, but featured an extended discussion, with accompanying visuals, of the top-five ranked celebrities from In Touch Weekly magazine's "Best Cleavage in Hollywood" poll.
Read more »

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

HaHaHaaaaaaa LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!


Joey Joe Joe Shabadoo

An absolute must read from Time's Joe Klein called The Perils of the Permanent Campaign. A permanant campaign that one year ago today brought us, one of the worst days in American history.

...the Permanent Campaign ... a political mind-set that had been developing since the beginning of the television age. It has proved a radical change in the nature of the presidency. Every President since Lyndon Johnson has run his Administration from a political consultant's eye view. Untold millions have been spent on polling and focus groups. Dick Morris even asked voters where Bill Clinton should go on vacation. The pressure to "win" the daily news cycle—to control the news—has overwhelmed the more reflective, statesmanlike aspects of the office.

An overcaffeinated and underdiscerning press has become complicit in the horse-race presidency. New policies are analyzed politically rather than for what they are intended to achieve. Success is measured in days and weeks—in polling blips—rather than months or years. This has been a terrible thing: Presidents need to be thinking past the horizon, as Jimmy Carter belatedly proved. Some of his best decisions—a strict monetary policy to combat inflation, a vigorous arms buildup against the Soviet threat—bore fruit years after he left office and were credited to his successor, Ronald Reagan. But then, Carter was among the worst recent Presidents as a Permanent Campaigner.

George W. Bush may be the very best. Indeed, his Administration represents the final, squalid perfection of the Permanent Campaign: a White House where almost every move is tactical, a matter of momentary politics, even decisions that involve life and death and war. That is what the Scooter Libby indictment is really all about.

It is about trying to spin a war.

Bush's White House is a conundrum, a bastion of telegenic idealism and deep cynicism. The President has proposed vast, transformational policies—the remaking of the Middle East, of Social Security, of the federal bureaucracy. But he has done so in a haphazard way, with little attention to detail or consequences. There are grand pronouncements and, yes, crusades, punctuated with marching words like evil and moral and freedom. Beneath, though, is the cynical assumption that the public doesn't care about the details—that results don't matter, corners can be cut and special favors bestowed.

Bush opposed a Department of Homeland Security, then supported it as a campaign ploy—and then allowed it to be slapped together carelessly, diminishing the effectiveness of the agencies involved.

The White House proposed a massive Medicare prescription-drug plan and then flat-out misrepresented the true costs (and quietly included a windfall for drug companies). Every bit of congressional vanity spending, every last tax cut, was approved. Reagan proved that "deficits don't matter," insisted Vice President Dick Cheney.

The second terms of Presidents are notoriously dreadful, but I wonder: Has the Permanent Campaign made the problem worse because it renders the politicians more myopic? Republicans seem better at campaigns, permanent and otherwise, than Democrats. It may be that conservatives just don't take governance as seriously as liberals do, and therefore have more freedom to maneuver. Didn't Reagan say government was "the problem, not the solution"? The very notion of planning for the common good, especially long-term planning, seems vaguely ... socialist, doesn't it? The Bush Administration is filled with hard-charging executives but bereft of meat-and-potatoes managers. Not much priority is placed on pedestrian things like delivering the ice to New Orleans or keeping the peace in Baghdad.

Important government agencies—the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency—are run by political cronies or worse, by special-interest allies of the President intent on eviscerating the regulatory power of the agencies they were sent to manage. There is an arrogant slovenliness to it all that neuters the essential tenets of the conservative vision—that efficient markets are the best way to create wealth, that Democrats are puerile dreamers and Republicans adult realists.

A library will be written about the President's decision to preempt the nonexistent threat of Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It was a tough call, with principled arguments on both sides, and it is easy to forget now that almost everyone, even the French, believed that the weapons existed. But there was nothing principled about the Administration's failure to recognize that lethal chaos was likely to follow the invasion. There was a delusional unwillingness to plan for a guerrilla insurgency, especially on the part of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who vastly underestimated the number of troops necessary for the operation—and who uttered some of the most embarrassing words ever spoken by a U.S. official as anarchy took hold. "Stuff happens," Rumsfeld said, when asked about the looting in Baghdad at an April 11, 2003, press conference. "... [F]reedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

But worse, far worse, was the tendency of the White House—particularly Karl Rove's message apparatus—to see the war as part of the Permanent Campaign, as a political opportunity at first and then, as the news turned bad, as merely another issue to be massaged. There is something quite obscene about the existence of the White House Iraq Group (whig). Its job had nothing to do with the military or political situation in Iraq; it was created to market the war and to smear the President's opponents. Rove and Libby were at the heart of this group. Their decision to ask Congress for a war resolution in September 2002, two months before the congressional elections, seemed an obvious marketing ploy. Rove told Republicans that they could "go to the country with this issue," that it would reinforce the party's image as strong on defense. The simultaneous decision to take the Iraq situation to the United Nations was also a campaign ploy—polls showed the vast majority of voters favored this course—and a chimera. Both Cheney and Rumsfeld were opposed to the move, and Rumsfeld pretty much ignored it: he proceeded full-speed ahead, deploying troops for a late-winter invasion.

The rush to war was followed by a rush to peace, dictated by public relations needs and wishful thinking. The President's declaration that "major combat operations" were over on May 1, 2003, after he co-piloted an airplane onto the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and emerged, jazzed, in a jaunty flight suit, seems almost ludicrous in retrospect. And it was accompanied by the utterly irresponsible decision of commanding General Tommy Franks to leave the theater of battle, taking with him his entire headquarters staff—including hundreds of intelligence officers.

And so we come to June 2003, the month that Scooter Libby became preoccupied with Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame. TIME Magazine first used the word mess to describe the situation in Iraq in a June 9, 2003, issue headline. In the same issue, TIME wondered about what ever had happened to the "Weapons of Mass Disappearance." At about the same time, the President was told, in a classified briefing by the CIA, that the U.S.-led coalition was facing a full-blown guerrilla insurgency in Iraq. Rumsfeld foolishly continued to deny this fact for another month.

In sum, June 2003 was the month that the vexing realities of the Iraq adventure first became clear to the Bush White House. It was also the month that the Administration began to act as if the war in Iraq were a public relations problem first and a military problem second. The WMD embarrassment clearly took precedence over the need to fight the insurgency. The White House created the Iraq Survey Group, sending former arms inspector David Kay and 1,200 intelligence officers to search for the nonexistent weapons, an action that infuriated Generals John Abizaid and Ricardo Sanchez, who believed that the top priority should be figuring out who the enemy was. Bush's blithe invitation to the insurgents to "bring it on" a few weeks later was another indication that the Commander in Chief had absolutely no idea what actual combat is all about.

The refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of the insurgency, the obsession with WMD—these were political acts, campaign ploys. And so was Libby's apparent fixation on Ambassador Wilson, who was calling into question the Administration's claims of an Iraqi nuclear program. The most important rationales for the war—that the invasion would go smoothly, that the "smoking gun may come in the form of a mushroom cloud"—were disintegrating. The presidential election of 2004 was looming. It seems a fair indication of the West Wing's whigged-out desperation that Libby even attempted the oblique argument that Wilson was not to be trusted because his wife, a CIA analyst, had sent him to find out if Niger had sold uranium to Iraq.

But it is an even better indication of how the White House reflexively dealt with unpleasant news: destroy the messenger. Last week there was more of the same, according to a prominent Republican, who told me that the White House had sent out talking points about how to attack Brent Scowcroft after Bush the Elder's National Security Adviser went public with his opposition to the war in the New Yorker magazine. "I was so disgusted that I deleted the damn e-mail before I read it," the Republican said. "But that's all this White House has now: the politics of personal destruction."

Libby's grand-jury prevarications seem fairly substantial. But the real felonies of the Bush Administration are not criminal. They are political. They involve spinning, smearing and governmental malfeasance—the sordid tool kit of the Permanent Campaign.

I have had my issues with Klein in the past, but I thought this piece was just great. Although I am a little thrown off by this passage:

The President's declaration that "major combat operations" were over on May 1, 2003, after he co-piloted an airplane onto the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and emerged, jazzed, in a jaunty flight suit, seems almost ludicrous in retrospect.

In retrospect? Insert snarkiness here.

Some people call me "Dubya," some call me "Codpiece Jesus."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Give'm Hell Harry!

Bravo to Senator Reid for using some tough tactics to get some real questions answered, and for taking back the news cycle and, frankly, for showing some balls!