Gotta few pressing deadlines...Should be back on the blog job soon!
So...OPEN THREAD! Go ahead, beat the crap out of each other! You know you want to!
w/ Brad & Desi
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Take a look at www.GeorgeWBush.com - "The Official Re-Election Site for George W. Bush" as of this moment.
Tacky? Extremely. Surprising? Not anymore.
If Bush thought all the books published by Administration Insiders were rough now, it should be amazing to watch what happens once he's out of office.
An amazing report from Doug Thompson in Capitol Hill Blue speaks of a President simply coming unhinged in the Whitehouse as the situation continues to deteriorate for him and as he berates staffers perceived as disloyal as "fucking assholes", "unpatriotic" and "un-American".
It also gives an interesting picture of how George Tenet was invited to not let the door hit him on the ass on the way out. You've got to read the whole thing.
It relies only on several unnamed "top" Whitehouse insiders --- understandably so, given the nature of the article --- so it's credibility is worth holding with a grain of salt. But if Thompson has it even half right, it's an amazing tale of what's going on over there beyond the Looking Glass...
Just the first few grafs...:
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”
Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there.”
In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God's will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.
“We're at war, there's no doubt about it. What I don't know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”
(Thanks to Brenda V. for the heads up!)
A few items you may have missed so far while the nation desperately seizes the opportunity to avoid our woes for a few days...And the "Liberal Media" helps to play along...
For the record, so far, at least 7 US Troops in Iraq have died in the 3 days since Ronald Reagan did...
From the AP, Rumsfeld in Singapore last Saturday, on losing the "War on Terror":
The troubling unknown, he said, is whether the extremists --- whom he termed "zealots and despots" bent on destroying the global system of nation-states --- are turning out newly trained terrorists faster than the United States can capture or kill them.
"It's quite clear to me that we do not have a coherent approach to this," Rumsfeld said at an international security conference. [emphasis added]
(Now it occurs to you!)
From AP, Former Chief Weapons Inspector David Kay on the WMD Dead-Enders:
From The Wall Street Journal on the Administration's classified 100-page report on how they might avoid US Law and the Geneva Convention in order to use torture:
(And you thought Clinton had no respect for "The Rule of Law"?! Little did he know he actually had the "inherent authority" to set it aside!)
For more fun ways in which God was at work to help the Bushies understand that "The infliction of pain or suffering per se, whether it is physical or mental, is insufficient to amount to torture." And "must be of such a high level of intensity that the pain is difficult for the subject to endure." - see Billmon's alarming and excellent side-by-side comparison of The Report and the Women of God who put it all together.
Now back to your previously scheduled week-long period of mourning.
Some fine satire by James A. Bartlett over at The Democratic Underground today where, incidentally, they've also run my "Mourning in America" piece. Self-serving plug not withstanding, here's just a few of the highlights from Bartlett's well done satirical look at the life and times of Reagan, as seen through the dutifully partisan "fair and balanced" hagiography of Fox News...
Reagan enlisted in the Army during World War II. On D-Day, he led the American column ashore at Omaha Beach, carrying one machine gun in each arm and a dagger in his mouth, even though his poor eyesight made him technically ineligible for combat.
He gained the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Every American who was alive then recalls where he was on the night God himself pre-empted The Love Boat to announce that the November election would be canceled. Reagan was inaugurated the next afternoon.
Reagan's presidency was nearly short-circuited in 1981 when a gunman attempted to assassinate him outside a Washington hotel. When the shots rang out, Reagan deftly ditched his Secret Service agents and chased the assailant into an alley, where he used kung fu to disarm him and turn him over to D.C. police. Due to the meddling of activist judges, however, Reagan's true assailant was allowed to go free and another man, John Hinckley, was incarcerated in his place. (Fox News recently revealed that Reagan's real assailant was Bill Clinton.)
When prayer was restored to the public schools in 1984, the Soviet Union dissolved, the nations of Eastern Europe were liberated from Communism, the Cold War came to an end, and Reagan's beloved Chicago Cubs won their first pennant in 39 years. (Reagan pitched seven shutout innings in the pennant-clinching win over Pittsburgh.)
Reagan was working on a new translation of the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew when God called him home on Saturday. God was unavailable for comment, but his son, Jesus, told the Washington Post, "We're thrilled to have Mr. Reagan up here with us. I've been waiting for somebody to take my seat next to Dad for quite a while now."
The above might be even funnier, if it wasn't so close to what you'll actually find out there right now in "Reagan's America" where it seems his greatest legacy is a lock-step marching band of rightwing sycophants hell-bent on slinging fistfulls of shit at political opponents while cowardly hiding behind the flag-draped coffin of their fallen hero.
Something tells me Reagan wouldn't much approve of their kind of less-than-positive divisive hatred disguised as "patriotism". But unlike them, I'll not ascribe my own words and ideas onto a dead man. His legacy will speak for itself, unless Fox News and the Freepers have anything to say about.
(I tried to find a representative thread of the bile being spewed forth from the Freepers at FreeRepublic.com - but there was so much of it, I couldn't choose between any one thread. Stop by and browse for yourself instead. You may wanna bring a bucket).
...And here come the vultures.
"Americans are going to be focused on President Reagan for the next week," said Ed Gillespie, the Republican national chairman. "The parallels are there. I don't know how you miss them."
I recall back during the 2000 campaign, when things didn't look very good for Dubya I had told a couple of folks that the only way George W. Bush could pull out a victory at that point was if Ronald Reagan died prior to the election and the country found itself swept by a temporary nostalgia for the golden days when there really was a vast sense of unity --- for the most part --- in America.
Compared to the divisive years of reprehensible --- yes --- Republican partisanship, disgraceful and baseless attacks on a sitting President, unending trumped-up investigations and an eventually discredited impeachment, it seemed to me that America might just latch onto Dubya's rising star as he inevitably would have sought to capitalize on Reagan-mania by casting himself in The Gipper's warm after-glow.
Such a comparison at the time, had it played out that way, as morbidly opportunistic as it might have been, could have caught the imagination of a nation starved for optimistic days of unity and propelled George W. Bush to the front of the race. It seemed, back then, Bush's only hope as I saw it.
Little did I imagine, of course, that they'd end up stealing an election to seal the deal. And of course, Reagan suprisingly held on for another four years, only to "slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God" at a time that may as well be 100 political years later than the year 2000.
Now, instead, it seems that Reagan's passing occurs at a rather unfortunate moment for George W. Bush. Aside from occuring on a weekend during which Team Bush had otherwise hoped to benefit from the now routinely "decadanal" D-Day Bump in Presidential esteem, his death at this time succeeds only in pointing up how Bush so desperately pales by direct comparison to a real American leader.
Oh, darn the luck.
Undoubtedly the desperate Right will twist history any way they can to draw some kind of inevitable tortured positive comparison. (Be sure to listen for it as it undoubtely happens live tomorrow on both Rush's and Sean's shows). But I think the trick is now unlikely to gain much traction. The vast differences between the real McCoy and the boy Pretender are now simply all to clear.
The endless retrospectives via every imaginable media outlet only serves to shore up the vast differences between the two men. Reagan actually was, it seems to me, someone with true core beliefs gained by decades of real life experience on both sides of the political aisle; The bold ideas of his strongly held Liberal FDR New Deal roots were applied to a time-earned move to the Right as experience not opportunistc political idealogy - --- as with our boy who would be king --- seemed to govern his core beliefs. Like him or hate him, Ronald Reagan, at least, was the real thing.
Former Reagan Chief-of-Staff and Secretary of State James Baker related this morning on This Week that Reagan "would rather get 80% of what he wanted then go over the cliff with his flag flying". It was a life-lesson learned which Dubya, apparently, hasn't the body of knowledge or intellectual curiosity to even contemplate. That, as he makes his Wile E. Coyote-like descent to disappear in a tiny poof at the bottom of the cliff.
Reagan was so successful in politics because he allowed for pragmatism to win out over rigid Conservative hopes. As Governor, he raised taxes to help balance the budget, he signed the country's most liberal abortion rights legislation at the time, and imposed strict environmental regulation on industry in places like Lake Tahoe ensuring that --- to this day --- there are still clear blue waters visible for 70 feet below the surface.
An Op/Ed in today's LA Times speaks of the many paradoxes of Ronald Reagan, outlining changing and/or nuanced beliefs that the transparently disingenuous GOP of today would have described as little more than "flip-flops" --- assuming, of course, that they applied to a candidate they opposed instead of supported.
Of note also, on a personal and local level, is that Reagan was first an actor from "Liberal Elitist" Hollywood. Who was wise enough to acknowledge on many occassions that "I don't know how you do this job without being an actor".
Meanwhile, for political expediency, today's GOP are the first to denigrate an American with an opinion on the basis that they are "an actor from Hollywood". Pusillanimously reserving, in the meantime, a convenient and hypocritical blind-eye for the Reagans, Schwarzeneggers, Eastwoods, Bonos, Thompsons and Gibsons that carry their water.
Reagan also displayed the strength of character necessesary to take real responsibility, at least occassionally, when things went horribly wrong.
As the ever sharp (and delightfully ascerbic) BRAD BLOG commenter Jaime pointed out, after 241 US marines were killed by terrorists in Beirut and America subsequently withdrew, Reagan bravely told the country "If there is to be blame it rests here and with this president."
Contrast that courageous admission to Bush's hemming and hawing, inability to recall a single mistake in his policies, continuous avoidance of any responsibility for anything from 9/11 up to the present day Iraqi morass were over 800 are now dead and thousands more wounded for a cause that was tenuous at best, and completely discredited now at worse. The stark difference between these two men couldn't be clearer.
Only the despicably blood-sucking Paul Wolfowitz (someone please explain to me why this man still has a job on the United States payroll!) was debased enough to attempt to usurp the nation's love for a true leader before the body was even cold. Just an hour or so after the news broke, while most thoughtful commentators had the reason to focus on Ronald Reagan and avoid comparison in the short term to George W. Bush, there was Wolfowitz on Fox (where else?) attempting to tell America how Ronald Reagan would have supported Bush's current policies in Iraq. How reprehensible. Not to mention, more than likely wrong.
Unlike George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan actually was a uniter, not a divider. Or as close to it, in any case, as anybody can come to such a thing in national politics today anyway.
Mr. Wolfowitz, I grew up during Ronald Reagan's presidency. I voted for Ronald Reagan. Mr. Wolfowitz, George W. Bush is no Ronald Reagan.
"If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us." -George W. Bush, Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000
500,000 Europeans would like to welcome you to Rome, Mr. President...
Matt Drudge is highlighting the headline "CBS Poll: Vets Favor Bush". True enough. But take a closer look at how Vets feel things are going in Bush's war by perusing the actual article that Drudge is pointing to.
For example, you'll find that a vast majority of Vets believe that the war is going badly, that it wasn't worth the cost, it was a mistake, the administration has no play for the June 30 handover, and that higher level military personnel (instead of just the soldiers directly involved) should be held responsible for Abu Ghraib.
Drudge, no doubt, as confirmed today by Rush, is assuming that few will actually bother to look at more than just the headline.
In the meantime, the latest head-to-head matchup of all registered voters, from the same CBS Poll --- not reported by Drudge --- shows Kerry widening the gap and beginning to trounce Bush 49% to 41%. The more reliable Zogby Poll has it as Kerry 47% to Bush's 42% with undecideds (who usually end up favoring the challenger) growing and Bush sinking. The same 47%-42% numbers occur when Nader is added to the match-up as well.
Zogby also shows the Bush approval rating now at an astounding 58% disapprove to 42% approve.
The Bush "Presidency" is, as of this moment, 84.19% over. Hang in there, America.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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