Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Headlines - Wednesday

If you're not keen on sending Bush a pair of shoes that he'll never see, you could: 
  • Donate a pair of shoes to the local charity of your choice.

  • Send Bush a postcard, stating, "A pair of shoes has been donated to the needy in your name. This is a farewell kiss from the American people, you dog."

Simple, cheap, and it gets the message across just as well, while also doing something good.

War is never cheap, no matter what neo-con men like Paul Wolfowitz tell you. And that's just the money side of the equation. The human cost is incalcuable. 
More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming: 
"My administration will value science,"Obama said, in what sounded like a pointed reference to his predecessor. "We will make decisions based on facts."
Powell said that figures such as Limbaugh appeal to Republicans' lesser instincts, suggesting that's not the kind of party that the GOP wants to be.
I disagree. I think it is exactly how they want to be, and all that they have left. I disagreed with him when he did this too:
Are we at war with Pakistan too?
A suspected U.S. missile strike killed two people in Pakistan near the Afghan border, officials and a witness said Tuesday, as two prominent U.S. senators visited Islamabad amid flaring tensions over the Mumbai attacks in India.

The Monday night strike in Tabi Tolkhel village, in the North Waziristan tribal region, appeared to be the latest in a surge of alleged U.S. missile attacks on militant targets in Pakistan's northwest border region, long bedeviled by al-Qaida and Taliban extremists.
More than 30 have been reported since August.


This is hilarious:

Karl Rove, who refused to answer questions for years on the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA official, criticized Barack Obama on Monday for not being more forthcoming in the Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) scandal.

Rove, a former top White House adviser to President Bush, said on Fox News, "[Obama] should have, right from the beginning, been more forthcoming."

...Pressed by liberal Alan Colmes of the "Hannity and Colmes" show if Rove thinks Obama is hiding something, Rove responded, "I just think he's mishandled this."

... Rove acknowledged that Obama's popularity is high, but said "his [poll] numbers will be lower than they should have been otherwise because some people will say, 'You know what? Why didn't he shoot straight with us?'" ...

I don't know which aspect of this is funnier - the fact that Rove is lecturing Obama on candor or the fact that he's offering tips on how to sustain high approval ratings. 
From Patrick Tyler's forthcoming book, A World of Trouble, comes this whopper of a scene - An enraged George Tenet, drunk on scotch, flailing about Prince Bandar's Riyadh pool, screaming about the Bush Administration officials who were just then trying to pin the Iraq WMD fiasco on him:   

A servant appeared with a bottle. Tenet knocked back some of the scotch. Then some more. They watched with concern. He drained half the bottle in a few minutes. "They're setting me up. The bastards are setting me up," Tenet said, but "I am not going to take the hit."
And then this:

"According to one witness, he mocked the neoconservatives in the Bush administration and their alignment with the right wing of Israel's political establishment, referring to them with exaxperation as, "the Jews."  
George Tenet accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The military moniker for George Bush's misbegotten decision to invade Iraq was "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Now, five years later, with reports that a journalist who voiced his opposition to the invasion and occupation by lobbing his shoes at Bush at a news conference in Baghdad over the weekend has been tortured, we learn what a meager amount of "freedom" U.S. blood and treasure has bought the Iraqis.

Granted, if a protester had thrown a shoe at Saddam, no one outside the room would have ever known about it — but, while we're footing the bills, it is an outrage that a protester against George Bush and his occupation of Iraq has been beaten.


Here's something kind of funny: This current economic collapse can be largely traced back to the 2003-2004 1% Fed Rate era that fueled the housing boom by making absurdly inflated real estate prices "affordable" because these interest rates — both fixed and the evil adjustable ones — hadn't been so low in half a century.

This just in: Fed cuts rate to 'virtually zero'


From Politico:

President Bush is touting his younger brother Jeb's qualifications to replace retiring Republican Mel Martinez as the next senator from Florida.

"He would be an awesome U.S. senator," Bush said in a wide-ranging interview with RealClearPolitics.

Super awesome!


Civilian casualties in Afghanistan - the west's epic fail:


"We do not torture." George Bush

In case you missed the stunning admission, here's the vice president of the United States admitting he approved the use of techniques for which the U.S. prosecuted Japanese POW camp guards after World War II.  The same techniques employed by Nazi Gestapo officers.  The same methods the Khmer Rouge routinely used during their reign of terror in Cambodia:

Mr. Cheney is among some despicable company. And, apparently, without a whit of remorse or awareness.

Do they get YouTube in the Netherlands?


When did they ever once say that about Bush?

NBC Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker said that reporters have not been aggressive enough during Obama's post-election pressers.

"Our job is to hold him to account," Whitaker said, adding that he thinks "we're going to have to get tougher."

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter followed up: "We need the Sam Donaldsons of the world."

Actually, we needed all of you two wars, an economy, and a Constitution ago.

When Jeb Bush becomes president, he'll get a free pass because the press will decide they were too tough on Obama. 


SEC's Cox: we ignored Madoff warnings

Let's have a big round of applause for the Republican doctrine of less regulation. Not only did the SEC have limited staff (because regulation is unnecessary) but the staff they have now look suspect. The lawsuit frenzy is about to start and investors will be targeting both regulators as well as the banks and investment firms who directed clients to the Madoff funds. It remains a mystery how a single person could manage the monthly statements for a $50 billion fund but we should start hearing more as the books are reviewed. 


These are tough times, and they call for some compassionate conservatism.

You can't help but feel sorry for this guy too.

Frank Gaffney on the Iraq war: Yes, Americans did have to die, but he's delighted we did what we did!


Rice: No American money in Iraq was lost to corruption:


Last night Bill O'Reilly slammed Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush, and said that if he had been there, he "would have physically taken the guy down." Guest Juan Williams agreed:

"But on a serious level, how many American lives have been sacrificed to the cause of liberating Iraq? How much money has been spent while they're not spending their own profits from their oil? American money. So I just think it's absolutely the act of an ingrate for them to behave in this way. Just unbelievable to me."

Even Bush told Bob Woodward in September, "I don't understand that the Iraqis are not appreciative of what we've done for them."

In addition to now being a breeding ground for terrorists, Abu Ghraib, 1.2 million dead and 5 million orphaned, an Oxfam report tells what the U.S. invasion has really meant for Iraqis:

– More than four million Iraqis forced to flee either to another part of Iraq or abroad.
– Four million Iraqis regularly cannot buy enough food.
– 70 percent are without adequate water supplies, compared to 50 percent in 2003.
– 28 percent of children are malnourished, compared to 19 percent before the 2003 invasion.
– 92 percent of Iraqi children suffer learning problems, mostly due to the climate of fear.


Oh good. We're going to start arming local militias in Afghanistan to 'improve security' throughout the country.


Gordon Brown has flown to Bagdhad to announce a withdrawal of British forces by the end of July next year. Only 300 troops will remain to train Iraqi forces.


h/t Dick:  

* 63% of Americans are hurting, now think the US has entered long-term economic decline.

* "The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, dipped to 90.5 in December from 93.3 in November as seven of the 10 measures of public opinion used in the index declined.

Zogby said the worsening mood was a function in part of the lengthy transition, and Obama's inauguration next month would probably bolster public confidence again."

Really?  We'll see what happens to the 'index' when first quarter 2009 job losses are announced. 

* Bush hands off his awesome legacy to Obama in the form of 'crisis briefings.'

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