Daily Archives: May 18, 2007

Fred Thompson watch: he talks in Freudian Bushisms

Fred is a busy boy these days: talk radio, NRO, getting a little expose at American Enterprise Institute…even got kind of a nasty piece in the Wall Street Journal.

He seems to have some of Bush’s propensity for malaprops: here’s a radio interview in which he mangles his only text. That would be ok, except that Fred has SO little to say, so little thought or preparation, that if he jumps the rails at all, you got nothing left. Here it is, and by the way, the title of the piece is “Comprehensive or Incomprehensible?”:

But there’s an old saying in Washington that, in dealing with any tough issue, half the politicians hope that citizens don’t understand it while the other half fear that people actually do.

Well, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, Fred…those are basically the same thing. …what you meant to say is that “half the politicians hope that citizens understand, and the other half fear that they actually do.”

But we understand Fred; to you, all politicians are trying to fool the people.

Good luck, guy….keep up the blather.

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Filed under Fred Thompson: lost without a script, Politics

Well, we fell for Exxon’s lie: they didn’t stop funding global warming deniers

Over the Line, Smokey! apologizes to any and all who read here that Exxon had defunded it’s little army of mercenary global warming deniers, back in January. It was not true, and it is still not true.

the company promised that it would “not be providing any further funding” to groups that distort global warming science, such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

But a new report from GreenPeace reveals what the company “didn’t mention” to the public. According to its IRS reports, Exxon is still actively funding at least 14 organizations “for their climate change work.”

These groups include organizations like Frontiers for Freedom, which recently released a report “dedicated entirely to questioning global warming science, policy and attacking Al Gore.”

Today, Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) wrote to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson lambasting the company for its inconsistency on global warming and urging the company to provide “full accounting of actual giving” to these climate skeptic groups, records which it has withheld from the public:

In a September 20, 2006, press release, ExxonMobil claimed it was reviewing funding for the coming year and that support fororganizations is publicly posted on our website.” […]

ExxonMobil’s clarification has yet to receive clarity. The analysis done by Greenpeace highlights disparities between your 2005 World Giving Report and actual giving as reflected in the copy of your IRS 990 tax form…the 2006 World Giving Report confirms that ExxonMobil has not stopped supporting climate skeptic organizations, as past statements from the Corporation suggested would be the stance of the company. […]

The support of climate skeptics, many of whom have no real grounding in climate science, appears to be an effort to distort public discussion about global warmingIt is indefensible for private entities to fund phony science to create fictional “scientific” controversies where no legitimate controversy exists.

The report confirms ExxonMobil’s new policy on global warming is the same as its old policy.

Smokey culpa. I remember a similar story:

BUNNY

This is my friend Shari. She just came over to use
the shower.


MAUDE
(grimly)
The story is ludicrous.

DIETER
Mein nommen iss Karl. Is hard to
verk in zese clozes–

—–The Big Lebowski


			

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Filed under Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Middle East, Politics, The Big Lebowski

Fred Thompson: any old false premise will do….

Fred Thompson, putative candidate for the GOP nomination for president/warmonger, has a piece up at the American Enterprise Institute, on the demise of college military history courses, which I presume he wrote in order to show his yearning for war, but actually demonstrates either how

  • dumb,
  • careless or
  • dishonest

he is.
Here’s Fred:

If you went to college in the Sixties, like I did, you might not know how much higher education has changed since then. Universities today are different places. At Vanderbilt, where I got my law degree, I hear you can take courses in third wave feminism or colonial governmentality.
Your guess is as good as mine.

On the other hand, some of the courses that we took for granted aren’t around at all. One area of study that’s almost disappeared from universities today is military history–the history of warfare.

Well, Fred, how long does it take to Google, anyway, just for some basic facts…

Vanderbilt University online course descriptions:

History 130: Western Military History to 1830

History 131: Sea Power in History

History 177: Cold War

History 188: WW II

History 225: Europe from WW I through WW II

History 272: US History in the era of the Civil War (also referred to as “The Southern War for Independence.”)

and also, History 281: The US and the Vietnam War

And that’s just the named undergrad history courses; there are scores of other history courses, most of which deal with war in one way or another.

Grad school:

Mike Boden is an active-duty military officer and doctoral candidate studying under Professor Helmut Smith. His dissertation, “Friedrich Engels and the Art of War”, examines socialist theories of armed conflict in the final half of the nineteenth century; a selection of his work won the 2001 Arter-Darby Military History Writing Award at the US Army Command and General Staff College. Currently assigned as the Deputy Commander for the 4th Brigade, 1st Calvary division, Fort Bliss, Texas, he has served tours in Germany, Southwest Asia and Kosovo, and taught World, German, and Holocaust History courses at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

oh, and don’t forget ROTC, Fred, and many courses are open to non-ROTC.

Fred, like many conservatives, loves to whine about how great things used to be, and especially about how awful are the colleges and their occupants. How about you do some homework when you write papers for the AEI, Fred….you remember, like when you were a boy…..or do they just let you make stuff up?

oh, by the way, Don Rumsfeld has some courses you could take…

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Filed under Fred Thompson: lost without a script, Politics

Letterman on Cheney and DCMadamgate

Here’s a story we’re working on now. Apparently, there are rumors coming out of Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney, when he was the CEO of Halliburton, used to go visit prostitutes. This could explain why one girl was paid two billion dollars.

Dave is right, two billion would be Over the Line, Smokey!

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Pope Benedict goes Over the Line: American Indians silently longed to be saved by Christ

The pope silently longs for me to call him an asshole.

… in the city of Aparecida [Brazil], the Pope “touch[ed] on a sensitive historical episode,” …declared that “the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean” were “silently longing” to receive Christ as their savior. He was “the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realizing it …” Colonization by Spain and Portugal was not a conquest, but rather an “adoption” of the Indians through baptism, making their cultures “fruitful” and “purifying” them. Accordingly, “the proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbian cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture.”

I didn’t want to do it, but, okay, Benedict, you’re an asshole.

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Bush: I will build that wall, in spite of unanimous objection from Iraq’s parliament

The Iraqi parliament does agree on some things; and as a sovereign nation, I would think that when the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Parliament all express their objection to the wall, there should be no wall. Alas, Bush knows best about all things Iraq (or eye-rack, as he refers to it):

although the Al-Adhamiya wall is nearing completion, the Iraqi parliament has passed a unanimous decision calling on the occupation forces to stop building it. “We know that our decision will be ignored, but we had to make the point for the record,” an Iraqi parliamentarian who did not wish to be identified said. “The wall was built, ostensibly to protect Al-Adhamiya from attacks, but it will only serve to exacerbate factional segregation,” he said.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Middle East

Southern ocean can’t absorb any more CO2

Much of the  carbon dioxide we have been generating the past hundred years has been removed from the atmosphere by the oceans.  Turns out we can’t rely on that:

 link

The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported Thursday.

Human activity is the main culprit, said researcher Corinne Le Quere, who called the finding very alarming.

The phenomenon wasn’t expected to be apparent for decades, Le Quere said in a telephone interview from the University of East Anglia in Britain.

“We thought we would be able to detect these only the second half of this century, say 2050 or so,” she said. But data from 1981 through 2004 show the sink is already full of carbon dioxide. “So I find this really quite alarming.”

The Southern Ocean is one of the world’s biggest reservoirs of carbon, known as a carbon sink. When carbon is in a sink — whether it’s an ocean or a forest, both of which can lock up carbon dioxide — it stays out of the atmosphere and does not contribute to global warming.

And the laws of physical chemistry tell us that as temperature rises in a liquid, its ability to hold on to gases diminishes; in other words, as the oceans warm, they will tend to release carbon dioxide.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Outdoors, Politics

Best legal discussion of Comey’s testimony

is by Marty Lederman at Balkinization. In part:

Kmiec [in Washington Post op] then attacks Senator Specter for suggesting that the hospital incident has an air of the Saturday Night Massacre about it — “the comparison to Watergate is wholly inapt,” writes Kmiec, because “Watergate involved a real crime.”

Well, this case involves a “real crime,” too — systematic violations of a very important federal statute designed to protect Americans from wiretapping by their government, 18 U.S.C. 1809. But that’s not really the central point for these purposes, because Specter’s obvious reference was simply to the remarkable parallel in that the President and his closest aides had so egregiously departed from institutional legal norms that the entire top echelon of the Justice Department was prepared to resign in a manner that would signal to the public that something was greviously awry within the Administration. Attorney General Richardson and DAG Ruckelshaus did not resign in October 1973 because they concluded there had been a “burglary for purposes of political dirty tricks,” in Kmiec’s words. The burglary was an old story. They resigned because the President insisted that they fire prosecutor Archibald Cox when Cox subpoened Nixon’s tapes. In other words, Nixon was trying to subvert the established procedures of the Justice Department. As were Bush and Gonzales.

3. Kmiec next writes that “[e]ven if OLC attorneys had been unanimous that the president lacked the legal authority to conduct the kind of military intelligence-gathering that every other wartime president has pursued, that would hardly warrant the conclusion that the president had ‘broken the law.’”

Actually, it would. The OLC conclusion was not that the President “lacked authority” in the first instance to order the surveillance — it was, instead, that a duly enacted statute, FISA, flatly prohibited the President from exercising what would otherwise be his constitutional authority – 

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Filed under Alberto Gonzales:boob or simpleton-you decide, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, James Comey, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, US Attorneys

GOP candidates would continue Bush policies

That Bush is unpopular was acknowledged by the GOP candidates in their debate, as they basically never mentioned his name. Yet these same candidates overwhelmingly endorsed his policies, with the possible exception of immigration reform….as if Bush’s lack of popularity was the result of some personal characteristic, rather than his policies.

Paul Krugman, at NY Times Select, takes up that theme today:

the leading contenders for the Republican nomination have given us little reason to believe they would behave differently. Why should they? The principles Mr. Bush has betrayed are principles today’s G.O.P., dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors. In fact, rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Mr. Bush’s policies — and the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.

aside from John McCain, who to his credit echoed Gen. Petraeus (and was met with stony silence), the candidates spoke enthusiastically in favor of torture and against the rule of law. Rudy Giuliani endorsed waterboarding. Mitt Romney declared that he wants accused terrorists at Guantánamo, “where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil … My view is, we ought to double Guantánamo.” His remarks were greeted with wild applause.

And torture isn’t the only Bush legacy that seems destined to continue if a Republican becomes the next president. Mr. Bush got us into the Iraq quagmire by conflating Saddam with Al Qaeda, treating two mutually hostile groups as if they constituted a single enemy. Well, Mr. Romney offers more of that. “There is a global jihadist effort,” he warned in the second debate. “And they’ve come together as Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda with that intent.” Aren’t Sunnis and Shiites killing each other, not coming together? Nevermind.

What about the administration’s state of denial over Iraq, its unwillingness to face up to reality? None of the leading G.O.P. presidential contenders seem any different —

These “debates” would be jokes, if they didn’t so debase the electoral process. But the message from the GOP, as a whole, is clear: business as usual.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, immigration, Karl Rove:Bush's brain or Bush's as'hole?, Middle East, Politics

GOP attempts to silence Ron Paul; UPDATED

The fact is that the group of Saudis from al-Qaeda attacked the US because of our military presence on the Arabian peninsula, not “because of our freedom.” After the 9/11 attacks, we removed these forces.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The chairman of the Michigan Republican Party said Wednesday that he will try to bar Ron Paul from future GOP presidential debates because of remarks the Texas congressman made that suggested the Sept. 11 attacks were the fault of U.S. foreign policy.

Michigan party chairman Saul Anuzis said he will circulate a petition among Republican National Committee members to ban Paul from more debates. At a GOP candidates’ debate Tuesday night, Paul drew attacks from all sides, most forcefully from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, when he linked the terror attacks to U.S. bombings.

“Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years,” Paul said.

I don’t think al-Qaeda really cared about our attacks on Saddam, as he was the enemy of al Qaeda. But at least Paul is closer to the truth than this “hated freedom” crap.

UPDATE: Get this: a radio program has banned all mention of Ron Paul.

Local radio station talk show hosts Mike Shanin and Scott Parks have decided to censor stories concerning 2008 Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul. On the air this afternoon, the pair suggested that they would require a 1500 signature petition to be hand-delivered to their studio for them to lift the ban on Dr. Paul. They started by mentioning a somewhat threatening email they received from an individual in Virginia. This email suggested that they cover Ron Paul or else risk the wrath of angry Paul supporters. Each time they mentioned his name on the air, it was bleeped out as if it were a curse word. At one point, they snickered to each other when one of them mentioned Ron Paul’s name and the name was not censored, as if they accidently let it slip. They attempted to marginalize Dr. Paul by implying that there is only a small, radical group of Dr. Paul supporters, and his supporters are basically akin to tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists.

The hosts then went on to suggest that a petition be started, which would require 1500 hand-written signatures of Dr. Paul backers and was limited geographically to just the Kansas City metro area.

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