Rummy’s Offensive Defense

Posted August 30, 2006 on 12:30 pm | In the category Iraq, Politics | by Jeff

In a new low for even this administration, Donald Rumsfeld has determined that critics of his incomprehensibly incompetent leadership of the so-called war on terror, are to be compared with appeasers of Hitler. Speaking at the American Legion’s national convention (as low-risk an audience as he could possibly find) in Salt Lake City Rumsfeld attacked the media and other critics of the administration, saying “Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.” His comments were seconded by Secretary of State Rice who commented that “we cannot fall prey to pessimism about how this will all come out,” adding that “the really devastating problem for the world would be if America loses its will.” (source – Washington Post)

Having consistently lied about why we invaded Iraq – no weapons of mass destruction found, no connection of Saddam to Al Qaeda found – the administration is reduced to fear-mongering and slander. The administration’s criticism of its critics ends up being aimed at the majority of Americans who have (finally) determined that we have a bankrupt policy which has failed in every way to do what it was set out to do.

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Rummy’s Army

Posted August 28, 2006 on 5:13 pm | In the category Iraq | by Jeff

In a story that is one more example of the incredible incompetence of our Secretary of Defense, the Boston Globe reports today:

“For at least a year, the soldiers had survived one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: driving trucks on the violent roads of Iraq for the US Army. Half the company had been at it nearly two years.

But when the 150 soldiers in the Massachusetts-based 220th Transportation Company, 94th Regional Readiness Command, arrived at Camp Atterbury in Indiana just after midnight Friday for demobilization, they were told they would have to take the bus home — an 18- to 20-hour ride.”

Family members’ complaints led Senator Kennedy to intervene and the Defense Dept. has indicated that they would charter a plane. The lack of respect shown to the troops is symptomatic of an administration unable to do the simplest things right. Simply bizarre.

Good for the Globe for reporting it.

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Robert Kuttner on Bush, Cheney and the White House press

Posted August 28, 2006 on 2:16 pm | In the category Uncategorized | by Jeff

“The Cheney presidency”

In Saturday’s Boston Globe Robert Kuttner presented a strong case against the Bush/Cheney presidency but also against the mediocrity of the White House press corps. Kuttner comments that

“…The media focuses relentless attention on the president, on the premise that he is actually the chief executive. But for all intents and purposes, Cheney is chief, and Bush is more in the ceremonial role of the queen of England….So let’s take half the members of the overblown White House press corps, which has almost nothing to do anyway, and send them over to Cheney Boot Camp for Reporters. They might learn how to be journalists again, and we might learn who is running the government…”

Watching Bush’s press conferences is painful and not just because of Bush’s inability to string together more then a few words. The more painful part for some of us is watching the press lob softballs in what used to be a hardball game. But Kuttner also reminds us that by spending so much of their resources on White House coverage the press often misses the real story. The press corps’ reliance on “access” to the administration simply gives the game away.

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The usefulness of Donald Rumsfeld

Posted August 25, 2006 on 5:16 pm | In the category Iraq | by Jeff

Senator Clinton discovered Rumsfeld’s usefulness two weeks ago when she moved herself into the position of one who believes that a good war has been badly managed. Calling for Rumsfeld’s dismissal is an easy ploy that keeps her in that group of American political leaders playing both ends against the middle. It is a group that cannot admit the folly of the war they voted to support but that now must distance themselves from what has become an obvious fiasco, destructive to the national interest and ruinous to the future of large segments of the Iraqi population. She is not alone – Joementum Lieberman has joined the Rummy must resign club and now Representative Shays, another Connecticut supporter of the war has determined – after some 14 trips to Iraq – that it is going badly. This will be the safe mantra for this election year, but were Rumsfeld to quit would it really make a difference?

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Run-up to Iran??

Posted August 25, 2006 on 3:33 pm | In the category Uncategorized | by Jeff

In a bizarre repetition of the 2003 run-up to the invasion of Iraq we are seeing reports out of Washington that the intelligence community is insufficiently scary on Iran. With some of the same neocon crowd that gave us the Iraq fiasco calling for tactical strikes on Iran it is not too soon to remind ourselves of the “sexed-up” intelligence that led to the Iraq mess. And it is worth noting that a significant percentage of Americans still believe that we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, making acceptance of a unilateral military strike against Iran at least minimally plausible. The failure of the press in the run-up to Iraq has been well documented – this is an opportunity for redemption. No Judith Millers, no Scooter Libbys, no blind rush to believe people in high places as they work to manipulate the press.

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Matt Taibbi on Lieberman

Posted August 16, 2006 on 2:53 pm | In the category Lieberman Watch, Uncategorized | by Jeff

In the current issue of Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi does as good a job as any I have seen looking at some mainstream press comments on the Lieberman fiasco.

“…Lieberman himself has been stumbling around like a deer that has just been hit and thrown 200 yards by an F-150, taking the utterly insane position that his candidacy — his, Joe Lieberman’s candidacy — somehow represents a fight against the “same old” Washington politics. You have Dick Cheney and a whole host of conservative talking heads, all pretense of two-party politics gone now, openly parroting the talking points of the supposed other side, the Democratic Leadership Council. And then you have Times columnist David Brooks, acting like a man high on laughing gas, committing to print that positively amazing assertion that “polarized primary voters should not be allowed to define the choices in American politics…”

Fun, lively and right on at:

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Posted August 6, 2006 on 10:13 pm | In the category Politics, Press | by Jeff

testing one two three…

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