Posts Tagged ‘Bush’

The President and the Pig

Will Ferrell‘s got nothing on this Bush impersonator. It is an impersonator, right? Please tell me this is a joke:

Calling all spinners — explain how Bush has “made us safer.”

There are times when being right makes you the happiest person in the world, and then there are the times it makes you crap your pants. Guess which one of those times this is. I want every angry, slogan-spouting flag-waiver who’s ever written in ordering me to “leave the President alone, he’s making us safer” to take a second, put down your copy of the National Review (the one with the Sean Hannity centerfold), and write to me again. Write to me and explain why our intelligence agencies now say the Iraq occupation has increased the threat of terror.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’’ it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document. The officials included employees of several government agencies, and both supporters and critics of the Bush administration. All of those interviewed had either seen the final version of the document or participated in the creation of earlier drafts. These officials discussed some of the document’s general conclusions but not details, which remain highly classified.Officials with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided specific judgments about the likelihood that terrorists would once again strike on United States soil. The relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism, and the question of whether the United States is safer, have been subjects of persistent debate since the war began in 2003.National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents that the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence. Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw intelligence collected by all of the spy agencies.More…

White House punks Christians

Occasionally, Candorville features Reverend Wilfred, a Black minister who suddenly became a firebrand Republican Bush-endorser after receiving half a million dollars from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As time goes on, and more evidence emerges to corroborate what Candorville has been saying since 2004, fewer and fewer people write to me to challenge the character. In the latest in the recent parade of unsurprising surprises, a new book by a White House insider details how the Bush White House manipulated and mocked religious conservatives and used the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives as a political machine. Keith Olberman covers the book, in two parts.Part One

Part Two

Histury Lessens

Airlines mix up luggage all the time, especially when said luggage is a nondescript black duffle bag. I returned from my Laotian vacation the other day, all rested and tanned. On the long subway ride home from SFO, I got bored, so I opened my duffle bag in search of my i-Pod. I was surprised to find, instead, what’s apparently a manuscript for some sort of academic journal. This is of no use to me. A manuscript can’t play Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy,” or Shuggie Otis’s “Sweet Thang” while I close my eyes and pretend that’s only water on the seat across from me. I want my i-Pod back. I couldn’t find an address or phone number anywhere in this duffle bag, so I’ll post an excerpt from the manuscript here. If you recognize yourself as the author of this treatise, please contact me and I’ll return the bag to you in exchange for my i-Pod shuffle.

Histury Lessens, an academick paper I have learned as a nation, many lessens from the war in Vietnam. Chief amonst them are that we succeed in wars, unless we quit. Also chief amongst them are that Vietnam was worth fighting because if we had cut and run there, well then the dominoe effect tells you the scourge of Communism would have swept across the globe, hurting folks’ economies. Free markets everywhere would fall under the knuckles of of those who hate freedom.The first casualties of a cut and run policy are business and initiative. And I told the Vietnaminians that at their Stock Exchange today. At a lunch with a bunch of foreign investors, I told every businessman there that if America had only stayed in Vietnam and kept our promise to help them fight for freedom, maybe they would know the sweet love of entrepreneurialship. At the airport when I was leaving to go to Indonesia, I saw folks handing each other business cards and talking on cell phones. I think they got my message.And it made me muse back to the 1970s, when I was a fighter pilot during the war protecting our homefront: How much faster would they have gotten my message if we hadn’t given up on that war? And how many freedom-loving Vietnaminian women and children would be alive and safe today if we were still there to this day, shooting into the jungles and rice pattees to keep Vietnam safe for freedom?And how many nations today would be free and libertied if we hadn’t cut and runned and Vietnam hadn’t become the homebase from where Communism spread across the world and snuffed out the flame of freedom, just as Rummy and Dick and other foresighted people said it would back in the ’70s? And that is why we must stay in Iraq indefinitely, so that what happened to Vietnam and Asia in the decades since we cut and runned, would never happen to Iraq and the Middle East. For me, it’s a lessen lurned.

I miss my Shuffle, so whoever you are, I hope you see this.In a totally unrelated subject, Keith Olberman gave another interesting “special comment” the other day:

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When the story matches the ad…

Came across this moment of synchronicity on the Washington Post’s website this morning, and just had to capture it for posterity: 

 There comes a time when you have to cut your losses, admit your mistakes (or at the very least, declare victory) and leave, and we very well may be at that point right now. What is the alternative, sending more troops to become targets for the resentment and bombs of an entire nation? Hussein is gone, a democratic government was created and now they’re fighting a civil war to determine either who will control it or whether they want to keep it.Do we really believe that through force of arms we can help them make that decision? Can we? What is our mission in Iraq? How will we know when we’ve succeeded? What exactly is this “victory” to which Bush keeps referring? The answer to that seems to change month by month. With every turned corner, we find another corner that needs turning. Seems more like a maze with no exit than a path toward anything. And every year it seems as if there are more questions than answers.I blame Churchill.•••

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Merry Christmas, Iraq, three years late

Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is something we should have done THREE @#$% YEARS AGO?

THE White House is expected to announce a reconstruction package for Iraq as part of a plan for a “surge” of up to 30,000 troops into Baghdad when President George W Bush unveils America’s new strategy next month.Bush is being urged to give up to $10 billion (£5.1 billion) to Iraq as part of a “New Deal” that would create work for unemployed Iraqis, following the model of President Franklin D Roosevelt during the 1930s depression. 

But while some of us were suggesting this very plan the moment our tanks began their dash across the desert, the Bush administration was busy laying the foundations for the insurgency by carrying out their plan to carve up Iraq and feed the white meat to Haliburton and its no-bid contract winning no-Iraqi-hiring, no-work-finishing, tax-payer-money-squandering subcontractors from Hell. Instead of putting Iraqis to work, the Bush administration was busy freezing them out of possibilities to rebuild their own country. Now with possibly 600,000 Iraqis dead and the country embroiled in a vicious, bloody civil war, the Bush team may have finally decided to allow Iraqis to go to work to rebuild their country. If only they’d come to this conclusion before the Iraqis came to feel they had nothing left to do but destroy it. In keeping with their pattern, the Bushes are a few years late to the party. Merry @#$% Christmas, Iraq.One other thing to note here: Apparently $10 billion U.S. is now worth only 5.1 billion British pounds. Historically, that 10-large should have been worth over £6.5 billion. Anyone else bothered by this?

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An incipient dictator spends his political capital

His victory was determined by electronic voting machines that are indirectly under his control, he’s consolidating the Media and the now virtually one-party state under his command, and he’s planning to assume special legislative powers – powers previously outside the domain of the executive branch. For those of us who’ve criticized the GOP’s determination to govern without Democratic input the past five+ years and their tendency to ignore or support the President’s legally-dubious domestic spying, it’s tempting to say he’s George Bush’s Liberal mirror image. But here’s one major distinction (among several): Bush and his party never tried to eliminate Presidential term limits. I think it’s necessary to say now that what we have in Venezuela is an incipient dictator.From Yahoo News:

A leading anti-U.S. voice in the world and in the vanguard of a shift to the left in Latin America, Chavez now wants to scrap presidential term limits and lead the OPEC nation for decades. 

Many of us agree with most of Chavez’s stated goals; chief among them the novel idea that Venezuelans should benefit more than foreign investors do from their own natural resources, and that the United States’ Monroe Doctrine (used by Presidents to justify numerous invasions and subversions of Latin American governments) is an anachronism. We agree with Chavez that the nations of Latin America have a right to self determination, they have a right to deny foreign exploitation of their own resources and to insist that the United States stay out of their political affairs. But we cannot turn a blind eye to the very real prospect that an even more fundamental right – the right of people to govern themselves – looks like it may be endangered in Venezuela.If Hugo Chavez grows a long beard, we’ll know it’s game over in Caracas.***EDIT: As a reader points out in the comments to this thread, the leaders of Chile and Brazil – whose acceptance has been credited in no small part to the popularit of Hugo Chavez – have so far demonstrated that socialist values are not incompatible with Democracy. Perhaps the teacher should start taking notes.

Get ready for President Clinton

Dick Cheney, the man who’s been consistently wrong about every major prediction, took a break from gathering flowers and candy from the Baghdad streets to weigh in on the ’08 election:

US Vice President Dick Cheney said that Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton will not win the White House in 2008 and would not make a good president if she does. 

I guess this is proof positive that Hillary Clinton will win the White House in 2008 and will make a good president when she does. I’m not much for dynastic presidencies. I think it’s dangerous when running the country becomes a family business, so somebody, anybody, tell Cheney to shut up before his astonishing bizarro-powers jinx another Clinton into the White House.By the way, if the President is serious about the need for less polarization in Washington, he might want to mention that to his hatchet-man:

Cheney, who in October had called Hillary Clinton a “formidable candidate” who “could win” the race to replace US President George W. Bush, told CNN television “I don’t” think she would make a good leader. Asked why, Cheney replied: “Because she’s a Democrat. I don’t agree with her philosophically and from a policy standpoint.”

I don’t think “robust” means what Bush thinks it means

From the people who brought us such hits as “Uraniam Tubes from Africa” and “Saddam Hussein blah blah blah 9/11” comes a new classic: “This economy sure kicks ass.”Apparently the White House feels its policies have created a more robust economy than existed during the late ’90s. We all must have just imagined we were better off. Sure, the amount of people living in poverty has skyrocketed, but what does that matter?If you keep in mind an early quote about the Bush administration’s governing philosophy, allegedly from a White House aide, it all makes perfect sense:

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’‘ he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Another quote that may be helpful when listening to the White House tell you why it’s technically not such a bad thing that you’ve gone from working on a Ford assembly line to working at a Wal-Mart checkout line:”There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”-Mark Twain (or possibly Benjamin Disraeli)

Candorville In The Loop

From today’s In the Loop column (Washington Post):

Speaking of the House oversight committee, it’s not often that someone below the rank of Cabinet member can merit a cameo appearance in a syndicated cartoon. But General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan, apparently to the amusement of some folks at the GSA, has won that unusual distinction, becoming a thinly disguised amnesiac in the cartoon Candorville.

Doan won the high honor after she repeatedly told the committee on March 28 that she could not remember details of a Jan. 26 videoconference presentation for top political appointees at her agency by White House deputy political director J. Scott Jennings, who works in Karl Rove’s shop.