Daily Archives: April 27, 2007

The Ledeen Doctrine and the US Attorneys

Will the evidence in the firing of the US attorneys eventually show actual obstruction of justice? or simply attempts to intimidate other US attorneys from investigating/prosecuting Republicans?

I am reminded of the Ledeen Doctrine (evidently a foreign policy tenet of the Bush administration) which may well have been applied to US attorneys, as well as to small nations:

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”



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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, US Attorneys

Genius right-wing blogger goes to Iraq, discovers Bush’s old speeches

This is too funny.

A zealous young man named Jeff Emanuel, who blogs at Redstate.org, has gone to Iraq on a Malkin/Pence/McCain-like “search for the truth,” or something. So he gets to military HQ, and sees this sign on the wall, which he sees as a real scoop. So he photographs it, and posts it with a headline:

According to US military, this is what success in Iraq looks like:

Iraq at peace with its neighbors, with a representative government that respects the rights of all Iraqis, and security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and to deny Iraq as a safe haven to terrorists.

The above photo is from Rear Admiral Fox’s office, and describes the desired “End State” situation in Iraq. I think the use of the word “state” in the title makes for a nice double entendre, and as such, helps convey the magnitude and the situation and the size of the project. Also on the card, at the bottom and out of the picture, is this final line: “An ally in the war on terror.”

So this is what “victory” in Iraq looks like.

I swear, that’s what he wrote, as excited as if he was Archimedes running naked down the street, screaming “Eureka, Eureka”:

So this is what “victory” in Iraq looks like.

Well, Duh….This is what Bush has been saying for how many months or years, I can’t even count. But never got through to Mr. Emanuel, resident Iraq war expert at Redstate. Well, to the credit of the other folks at Redstate, the first response to Emanuel’s breathless scoop is:

Geez dude do you listen to what the President says? He says this in almost everytime he talks about Iraq and what we need to do. I know it must seem he is not because he has become part of his standard “talking points” however he does say it consistantly and always has.


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Filed under blogging, Iraq, Michelle Malkin's latest brain fart, Middle East, Politics

The US and Iran: Elliot Abrams’ sandbox; Elliot, your press releases are getting redundant.

Today we have a propaganda release from CBS:

Friday, April 27, 2007 11:22 a.m. EDT

Intel Report: Iran Could Have Nuke Bomb by 2009

A new intelligence report reveals that Iran may be closer to producing a nuclear weapon than previously thought, and could have enough bomb-grade material for a single bomb in less than three years, CBS News disclosed.

blah blah

Officially, U.S. intelligence authorities say Iran faces technical difficulties and will not be able to become a nuclear power until 2015.

But weapons expert David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said the U.S. is not giving Iranian scientists enough credit.

“I think Iran can get enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon sooner than that,” he told CBS. “I think the 2015 number reflects too much skepticism about Iran’s technical capabilities, and they are making progress.”

The problem is, this came out three weeks ago, when you guys gave it to your pal Brian Ross at ABC:

Exclusive: Iran Nuclear Bomb Could Be Possible by 2009

April 02, 2007 6:15 PM

Brian Ross and Christopher Isham Report:

blah blah

“If they continue at this pace, and they get the centrifuges to work and actually enrich uranium on a distinct basis,” said David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, “then you’re looking at them having, potentially having enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 2009.”

Can you guys get it together over there? Is this what they mean when they talk about the right-wing echo chamber?

These people are onto your games, also.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Iran, media, Politics

David Broder: Is there a screw loose in there somewhere? in the brain area?

It’s really not whether I agree with Broder or not…but he doesn’t deal in facts anymore, if he ever did…and the fact is that, unless you compare him with Mitt Romney, John McCain is not a straight talker…he’s hardly coherent, in fact.

Straight Talking Again

By David S. Broder

Friday, April 27, 2007; Page A23

Credit John McCain with one thing: When you’re 70 years old, are running for president a second time and have been stumping through the country for many months, it’s difficult to spring any surprises in your formal announcement speech.

The Arizona senator came up with one: He is running as the anti-Bush.

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Filed under John McCain for president of Del Boca Vista, media, Politics

In re Moyers: Digby recalls the case of Ashleigh Banfield

Bill Moyers’ piece on PBS has generated a great deal of discussion (transcript here; video here).

One of the best posts is Digby’s, on the fate of NBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield, who called it as she saw it, and paid the price.

Banfield was fired for comments like these, on the “embedding” of correspondents with military units in Iraq:

…but this did put us in a very, very close line of sight to the unfolding disasters.

That said, what didn’t you see? You didn’t see where those bullets landed. You didn’t see what happened when the mortar landed. A puff of smoke is not what a mortar looks like when it explodes, believe me. There are horrors that were completely left out of this war. So was this journalism or was this coverage-? There is a grand difference between journalism and coverage, and getting access does not mean you’re getting the story, it just means you’re getting one more arm or leg of the story. And that’s what we got, and it was a glorious, wonderful picture that had a lot of people watching and a lot of advertisers excited about cable news. But it wasn’t journalism, because I’m not so sure that we in America are hesitant to do this again, to fight another war, because it looked like a glorious and courageous and so successful terrific endeavor, and we got rid oaf horrible leader: We got rid of a dictator, we got rid of a monster, but we didn’t see what it took to do that.

I can’t tell you how bad the civilian casualties were. I saw a couple of pictures. I saw French television pictures, I saw a few things here and there, but to truly understand what war is all about you’ve got to be on both sides.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, blogging, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, media

Paul Krugman: Inequalities of income not seen since the ’20’s

Krugman in the NY Times Select points out that Bush has tried hard to undo the New Deal, and in some ways has taken us back to the 1920’s:

The hedge fund billionaires are simply extreme examples of a much bigger phenomenon: every available measure of income concentration shows that we’ve gone back to levels of inequality not seen since the 1920s.

The New Gilded Age doesn’t feel quite as harsh and unjust as the old Gilded Age — not yet, anyway. But that’s because the effects of inequality are still moderated by progressive income taxes, which fall more heavily on the rich than on the middle class; by estate taxation, which limits the inheritance of great wealth; and by social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which provide a safety net for the less fortunate.

You might have thought that in the face of growing inequality, there would have been a move to reinforce these moderating institutions — to raise taxes on the rich and use the money to strengthen the safety net. That’s why comparing the incomes of hedge fund managers with the cost of children’s health care isn’t an idle exercise: there’s a real trade-off involved. But for the past three decades, such trade-offs have been consistently settled in favor of the haves and have-mores.

Taxation has become much less progressive: according to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, average tax rates on the richest 0.01 percent of Americans have been cut in half since 1970, while taxes on the middle class have risen. In particular, the unearned income of the wealthy — dividends and capital gains — is now taxed at a lower rate than the earned income of most middle-class families.

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Filed under economics, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?

Bush, confronted with democracy, decides he doesn’t actually like it very much

The idea that George W. Bush was a spreader of democracy has been balderdash from the beginning. Even before the 2000 election, he and his party worked against democratic elections in the US, and he has continued to do so ever since. And that is just the beginning. In essence, he has tried to subvert the two party system, and the basic concept of three co-equal branches of government, and rejected the idea that he is subject to the laws of the land. What more evidence do you want?

Robert Novak’s column today confirms the fact that Bush’s idea of government is basically “Bush rules.”

Bush going out of his way to praise his beleaguered friend from Texas only confirmed signals sent this week. The president’s improbable praise for Gonzales’ pathetic performance as a witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week was no mere gesture. The authoritative word from the White House was that Bush was adamant about retaining Gonzales as attorney general despite Republican demands that the president cut his losses with a new face at Justice.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s personal criticism Tuesday of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a rare statement just off the Senate floor suggested that defense of Gonzales is not an isolated act of defiance. Bush, never entranced by life in Washington, detests dealing with a Democratic Congress. Reflecting annoyance and fatigue, he is unwilling to withstand incessant attacks from the likes of Reid and is ready to fight it out. Retaining Gonzales means Bush has slipped behind the barricades.

Mr. Bush had better be careful. The GOP is not anxious to be virtually extinguished in the next elections. It is apparent from the Gonzales hearings that, increasingly, Republicans are starting to look out for themselves, and that they are starting to view Bush as an albatross around their necks.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Middle East, Politics