Thursday, January 31, 2008
These "debates" are of course not "real" debates. But in tonights "debate," both Hillary and Obama were pretty impressive. Very impressive. Perhaps I'm just too impressionable?
They were both funny. Smart. Articulate. Knowledgeable. Involved. Right. Impressive. Wow.
We stumbled upon the "pre-game" warmup on CNN. CNN was really overdoing the pre-debate hype. It's rather nauseating, and embarrassing. Total media overkill and bluster. They even showed the "contenders" getting out of their cars, fer crissakes, and walking into the theater, like they were fighters coming into the ring.
"Obama vs. Clinton" was the constant graphic.
"And now...standing at 6 foot, 2 inches...weighing in at 215 pounds...." is what it felt like. We muted it a lot, but the crowds outside, or inside, or somewhere, were all chanting and carrying signs. Kinda eerie. These people are pumped.
Behind the commentator, Obama was pictured in stark Warhol relief, in many different shades, like his ancestry. Hillary signs mixed in with the Obama signs. The whole thing sort of felt...orchestrated. Contrived. Shit, we're already down to only two candidates, and we're not even at Super Tuesday yet.
I thought both Hillary and Obama were extremely impressive tonight. Right at the start, they both made it clear that whatever differences may exist between the two of them pale in contrast to the differences with the Republicans. Good start.
This was the best "debate" I've seen in a long time. Catch the repeat if you missed it. If there is a repeat.
Both of them got some good shots at McCain and his "100 years in Iraq" comment.
Compared to the Republicans, oh. my. god. There should be no competition. With all the Bush-fatigue out there, and the record Democratic voter turnouts so far in the primaries, if the Democrats do NOT win the Presidency (and multiple House and Senate seats), and if the voting is very close, and if there are fresh rumors of vote-stealing and voter suppression, I shudder to think how people might react. I know I'm sick to death at the soiling the USA has taken under Bush.
Barack and Hillary didn't make it any easier to decide between them tonight. I can easily see them both on the ticket. Woman on top? Man on top? How do you like it? No side-by-side spooning allowed.
On the one hand, I wish there were more candidates on the stage to broaden the conversation in a more progressive direction. I really don't understand why so many Democrats have dropped out, so soon. Hell, McCain has been limping along with hardly any money for months. Did Guido pay them a visit?
On the other hand, the debate format allowed the two of them to speak at length more than usual. Oh boy, you say? Politicians given long periods of time in which to speak? Well, sometimes things do take longer than a few seconds, or sound-bites, to discuss.
Wolf Blitzer, the moderator (again!), started by saying that the only rule is that there are no rules. Then he promptly gave each candidates 90 seconds (or so) to "open." (Is that a rule, Wolf? No matter.) Giving them practically unlimited time is much preferable to the silly 60 second answer, and 30 seconds to rebut, then you get 30 more to rebut the rebuttal, etc.
Quite the star-studded crowd tonight in LA too. It's good to see so many recognizable faces in the crowd, some sporting Hillary buttons or Obama buttons. I was a little disappointed that they didn't discuss the writers strike at all, but, hey, there are only so many seconds in a minute, so many minutes in an hour, so many hours in the debate...
When it does come down to soundbites, and it will, Hillary launched a great one to the oft-heard question about running the government like a business. I'd say Hillary had more soundbites than Obama tonight. So, by that standard, Hillary wins. Obama is young. He could serve as VP, then step up to POTUS.
Oh, God, we could be capable of so much good in this country. It's all just being stolen and squandered under Bush.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Bush's LAST State of the Union? I have four words for that - Hal-lay-lou-yah!
Looking for a review that came close to mirroring my attitude, I think I found it in Rick Perlstein's blog at TomPaine.com.
Smirk of the Union
January 29th, 2008 - 9:17am ET
A small and beaten man spoke to Congress and the nation last night, convinced in his own mind he's a hero. Snoopy battling the Red Baron. Walter Mitty, imagining himself dying bravely before a firing squad.
For those who missed it, here's the Big Con run-down. Let me start with the facial expressions. Because, more than any of the words, they told the sad story.
The entrance: He raises both eyebrows puckishly, like the frat boy he is. Introduced by Speaker Pelosi, he reacts curiously to the wave of applause: he blushes. He actually thinks this applause is for him—they love me!!—and not a perfunctory gesture of respect for the office. He still thinks he is a great man, and that others think he is a great man. He looks about a thousand years old. He begins: "Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum." Or that's what the transcript says he said. If you missed it live, what he actually said was, "...stood before yuh at this rostr'm...."
John Wayne taking on the desperadoes.
Then, the arrogant bastard, he makes a joke: "These issues"—he's named "peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens"—"deserve vigorous debate. And I think history will show we've answered the call." He gives the chamber that famous smirk, to let them know it's OK to laugh, even amid all the pomp: get it? These people keep insisting on debatin' with me. Washington! Bicker, bicker, bicker.
Then, he obliquely announces the speech's theme, also with a smirk: Bush's greatest hits. A golden trip down memory lane. He says, of public servants' job to "carry out the people's business," that "it remains our charge to keep." Dog whistle: this is the Methodist hymn that by which entitled his campaign book. Because remember: George Bush is a Christian Unleashing the "armies of compassion." Or it it this "army of compassion"?
Which brings up one of the creepiest features of the speech: "more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation's Capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities." I didn't know—and perhaps the Constitution has something to say on this—it was the job of the U.S. government to fret over the disappearance of "faith-based" institutions. Well, our president now proposes we shore them up with "Pell Grants for Kids." Senator Clayborn Pell, a great man, now unfortunately suffers from Parkinson's disease, and probably lacks the wherewithal to slap the president in the face for the insult to his great progressive legacy.
I suppose we should also attend to the words, because this pathetic washout happens to be the most powerful man in the world, so the words he uses are important.
He repeated the Great Republican Lie of 2007, implying that the Democrats in the 110th Congress is obstructionist—"Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time," he piously intoned.—when it's really himself and the Republican minority who are willfully obstructing, with an aggressiveness unmatched in modern history. He still trumpets his own disastrous Ownership Society rhetoric (How disastrous? See here) and barely acknowledges the massive economic pain Americans are feeling and our about to feel — and only then to issue one more obstructionist threat, on the stimulus package: "The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it." Mafia words: my way, or else.
But back, again, to the facial expressions. The most fulsome smirk came, I think, winding up to his promise, "If any bill raising taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it." He said something interesting, perhaps referring to the remarkable poll results consistently showing a majority of Americans believe Bush's tax cuts were not worth it, or that they would be glad to pay higher taxes if it meant healthcare for all Americans. Such national maturity—indeed any occasion to call Americans to some higher sacrifice—can only but be mocked by the smug bastard running our country. He said this: "Others have said they'd be happier to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. The IRS accepts both checks and money owners."
Cheney joins his smirk.
What else? There was his promise of an executive order canceling earmarks not voted out in the open—because, of course, now that the Democrats run Congress, procedural irregularity and pork-barrel spending has suddenly become a national crisis.
There was some fairy dust about making "health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control." The Republicans' barks of approval at that one are guttural. He add that medical decisions must be "made in the privacy of your doctor's office, not in the halls of Congress."
About medical decisions made in callous insurance company cubicles, of course—which is to say, most medical decisions—he has nothing to say.
"Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results." No one can deny they suck. Read this.
"To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow"? Only if those breakthroughs accord with conservative dogma. Read this.
Perhaps later, I'll give you more on the fairy tales he's propounding our nation on its place in the world. I'll leave you with this one peace of jargon: "protective overwatch mission." That's the new Bushism for "We're staying in Iraq for ever." You'll be hearing it much more in the days ahead.http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/smirk-union
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Mark Morford is a good Rx for what ails ya. Praise be to that mysterious hot feminine unknown.
29 things to be happy about
Yes, it's all doom and gloom and war and global warming and Bush. Except when it's not
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, January 25, 2008
Happiness knows no particular order, and neither does this list:
1) We may very well, within a year's time, have a black president. We may have a female president. We may, unfortunately, also have a bizarre robotic nutball Mormon president. No matter how it turns out, it will be very strange and unnerving and different and a bit startling and therefore at least remotely interesting to watch. Which, you have to admit, is far better than how it's been for the past seven years, which is utterly humiliating, repellant, cancerous.
2) Here is this ingenious new alarm clock. It has an Internet connection that hooks directly into your bank account. If you oversleep, it begins to withdraw funds from your account. And donate them. To groups you really, really despise. Ten minute oversnooze? Fifty bucks goes to the GOP. Oversleep a half an hour? There goes $100 to the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, the Bush Presidential Library (for all the crayons). Sleep till noon? Five hundred bucks to the Aryan Nation or National Right to Life or the Lindsay Lohan Cocaine Fund. Because nothing is more motivating than abject hate. Except, of course, abject love. But that's a completely different gizmo.
3) You're not imagining it. Your intuition was completely correct. Tom Cruise really is insane. Also, it is a safe bet that Tom and Jerry O'Connell will not be working together anytime soon.
4) Women and minorities appear to be galvanized by Hillary Clinton's presidential run. Youth and college-educated voters appear to be galvanized by Barack Obama's. No one at all is truly, deeply galvanized by Mitt Romney or John McCain or crazy little Mike Huckabee, and everyone is generally repulsed by the fetid little tyrant that is Rudy Giuliani. All of this, remarkably, seems just about exactly as it should be.
5) There is apparently a fairly good argument to be made as to why Google — a 10-year-old company worth $100 gabillion that's run by a pair of geeky 35-year-olds who still, to this day, in just about every photo, look like they can't believe this is all really happening to them — should buy the New York Times. Which seems, at first glance, totally insane. Then it quickly begins to make perfect sense.
Then you're like, wait a sec, you know what? Screw the Gray Lady; Google should buy General Motors, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Kraft and Dow and Viacom and pretty much all of North Korea and just wipe them all away and replace them with nice organic flowerpots and solar farms and really big trampolines. How much better! (Note to Google: Forget the NYT. Please buy The San Francisco Chronicle. Way cheaper. Plus, we're local. I would very much like to eat free sushi in your amazing cafeteria every day. Thank you.)
6) Gentle Giants rescue.
7) "I Don't Want to Blow You Up!" is a new children's book by the author of "It's Just a Plant." It dares to tell children that the vast majority of scarf/turban/headband/burqa-wearing peoples in the world do not, in fact, wish to bomb them, eviscerate them, eat their brains with a rhino horn or hang them upside down and steal their Playstation 3 and rape their dog. Despite what Bill O'Reilly's children's book says.
8) Britain has officially dropped the "War on Terror" label, given how, well, it's not really a war, given how most terrorists are not exactly highly organized armies of well-trained soldiers and are, instead, mostly scattershot clusters of insane fanatical murderers and suicidal religious mutants, and should be treated that way. The war on Christmas, now that's a real war.
9) TheAtlantic.com is now free. No more paid subscriptions to gain access to its excellent archives and full-length pieces. Upside: You can now read David Foster Wallace's brilliant 2005 piece on right-wing radio. Downside: the giant, throbbing mixed blessing that is Andrew Sullivan's blog.
10) Dolphins love sex. Frequent, kinky, aggressive, even violent. Homosexual, bisexual, incestuous, you name it. Sometimes with other species. Sometimes gang-rape style. Sometimes in frothy orgies. Sometimes (sort of) with humans. Yes, dolphins.
11) This just in: The cosmos is actually filled with supermassive black holes. It is also packed with dark energy, a very strange and mysterious material that appears to be pushing out the edges of the universe at a faster and faster rate and no one knows why, or what the hell dark energy actually is or how it works and it might all merely point to the overwhelming fact that the universe is, in truth, a giant, random, unpredictable mindf- of a place that's not even really a place at all, but more of a concept, a theory, a wicked delicious shaman's peyote dream and consequently its mysteries can never be "solved" and its cosmic messages never fully decoded and therefore you get to sit back right now and take a deep breath and exhale very slowly, and smile, safe in the knowledge that we actually know very, very little about anything, and we always will.
12) You can now study, in academic circles, the glory that is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
13) The pollutive factories, the mountains of plastic, the enormous carbon footprint, the illusion of better taste, the myth of health. Yes, people seem to be waking up to the giant $15 billion sham that is the bottled water industry. Fact: The EPA's regulations for tap water are actually more stringent than the FDA's rules for bottled water. Solution: Filter your own tap water, get a Sigg. Easy.
14) Dude, like, did your dad just post a message on your Facebook wall? Is that your mom texting you from her iPhone? Yo, brah, is that your grandma doin' the jitterbug on her own MySpace page? Dude, WTF are all these old people doing all over the Web 2.0?
15) RU-486, that very safe, woman-empowering drug from France that induces a very early stage abortion, is proving to be a quiet, revolutionary, highly personal and yet very effective giant middle finger to the misogynistic Christian right, much of Congress and about half the Supreme Court.
16) Hormone-free, grass-fed beef really does taste better. Organic food really is healthier. Tell everyone you know.
20) Gary Vaynerchuk.
21) The disappearing car door.
22) Arts & Letters Daily.
23) Cate Blanchett.
24) Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain."
25) Abstinence education is, of course, a dismal failure.
26) Karl Rove is gone. Trent Lott is gone. Rick Santorum is gone. Richard Pombo is gone. Sweet Jesus, a whole rancid stew of hardcore Bushites has vanished like rat-tailed thugs from a murder scene, leaving behind all manner of shrapnel and smoking craters and karmic wreckage for the next wave of politicos to try and clean up. But hey, at least they're gone. Mostly.
27) Gay couples are just as committed in their relationships as anyone else, and are often more satisifed. I know, big shock. Will these two new studies matter a whit to the right-wing homophobes who ignore all such studies, including those that have proven, say, that the adopted kids of gay couples turn out just fine, or that married gays don't actually cause riots, floods, or Ebola virus outbreaks? Of course not. No matter. Still good fuel for the fight.
28) A whopping 84 percent of Americans claim to be somewhere between "pretty happy" and "very happy." No, no one knows what sort of crack they're smoking. I mean, haven't they all seen the global warming? The imminent apocalypse? The staph infections and the drug-resistant bacteria and the Islamo-fascists and Dick Cheney's black and vile stare? Why all the happiness? It is because of all the Prozac? Or is it because of No. 29?
By MARK BITTMAN
Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about eight ounces a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.
HERE’S THE BEEF This feed lot in in California can accommodate up to 100,000 head of cattle.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
This morning there was a segment called "The Monuments Men." I'd never heard of this group of Americans who were tasked with discovering stolen art and trying to return it to its rightful owner, art that had been stolen by the Nazis in WW2. As if Hitler's treatment of the Jews and other minorities wasn't bad enough, Hitler and his goons stole or destroyed countless works of art.
This story provides a good reason to be somewhat proud of America.
Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to the video from this mornings program. CBS selectively publishes only some of the video segments from the show, and "The Monuments Men" does not appear to be one segment that made the cut. So, you'll have to be content with the transcript. Hey, set your DVR for the show each Sunday morning.
Rescuing Nazi-Looted Art
How The "Monuments Men" Helped Save Countless Treasures Plundered During World War II
Jan. 27, 2008
You may have heard about Nazis destroying and looting art all over Europe. But you may not know that the looting - tons of works taken from both personal and public collections - was perhaps the great pillage in history, as much a part of Nazi war planning as was military conquest.
"If you have an interest in art history, you have an interest in World War II," author Robert Edsel told CBS News' Rita Braver. "If you like extraordinary treasure hunts, it's got something for everybody. There's no way you can't be interested in this story."
This is a story that haunts Edsel.
"I like to think of it as a passion," he told Braver, "some say obsession, but there is so much of this story to be revealed."
Edsel's obsession came late. A professional-level tennis player from Dallas, he went on to make a fortune in oil and gas. By age 39, he was a multi-millionaire and ready for a change of pace. He sold his business and moved to Florence.
Before that, he had not thought much about the Nazi's impact on European art. He explained to Braver how he remembers becoming interested in the topic.
"I was walking across one of the bridges in Florence one day, the Ponte Vecchio, the one bridge that wasn't destroyed during World War II by the Nazis, and it occurred to me, almost this epiphany, that how did all these great works of art survive the destructiveness of World War II? And who were the people that saved them?"
What he learned staggered him. Not Jewish and with no relatives who had been caught up in the Holocaust, he has spent millions of dollars of his own money to write a book called "Rescuing Da Vinci" - and to co-produce a documentary titled "The Rape of Europa" to tell the story.
The Nazi war on art and the ravages of modern combat caused an unprecedented upheaval of art and cultural property that is still unraveling today.
For one thing, there was the systematic way the Nazis had gone about stealing art - how, for example, Hitler's second in command, Herman Goering, would line up items for his own collection and Hitler's, making repeated visits to the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris.
"Where he could have a glass of champagne, smoke a cigar," explained Edsel, "and make these elections of works."
"And just take them!" Braver marveled.
"And just take them!" he agreed. "And load them up on his trains, load them up on planes and send them back to Germany."
But what really cut through to Edsel was that while the Nazis were stealing and sometimes destroying treasures, the U.S. was making heroic efforts to safeguard art and architecture.
"And it's a huge change in the history of warfare," Edsel said, "to try and fight a war on the one hand and mitigate damage to cultural treasures at the same time."
And when the war was over there was another extraordinary effort: to return the art the Nazis had looted.
Arriving at Munich and Wiesbaden were the collections of Adolf Hitler, Herman Goering, and art looted from across Europe.
Under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower, a small band of American men and women, including many art historians, was assigned to find and return looted art, some two hundred works in all. They became known collectively as the "monuments men."
"I was 20 years old, just turned 20," reminisced one of them, looking at a photograph, "must have been February 1946 when this photo was taken."
Henry Ettinger, a German born American, was one of the people who found and saved the art. He still marvels at what the United States did.
"We Americans for the first time in the history of civilization, adopted a policy which said that to the victor do not belong the spoils of war."
They weren't always successful. The documentary shows how villagers hijacked a train carrying the last shipment of art that Herman Goering had tried to amass.
Hundreds of paintings and sculptures were scattered in at least six different structures.
But the monuments men had huge successes, too. They found a castle full of property stolen from the Rothchilds and other French Jews.
And they discovered Hitler's personal art hoard deep in a salt mine in the Austrian Alps.
Braver asked art historian Nancy Yeide about the importance of the "monuments men."
"Oh, they were of vital importance," Yeide told her. "Not only did they save this art and rescue it, but the records they kept in the restitutions are used by art historians today to track the provenancy of paintings in our collection."
Yeide, head of curatorial records at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is studying how Nazis went about looting and how monument men went about tracking the rightful owners of each piece.
"Yeah, this painting was actually confiscated from a private dealer, a dealer's stock, the Seligman Gallery in Paris," Yeide explained, showing Braver one work, "and then taken by Goering and kept in his personal collection throughout the war. And it was recovered by the monuments men with the rest of Goering's collection in Berchtesgaden."
Later the family sold the piece, which is how it ended up here. Other works which the Nazis has seized in Austria were returned by the monuments men and were later sold by their legitimate owners.
"There's such an irony there," Braver observed. "You have people who are in the middle of committing genocide and yet, here they are, fancying themselves connoisseurs of art?"
"Yes, it is, actually, very ironic, Yeide agreed. "The very people they were eradicating, they were taking their art and keeping track of whom they take the art from."
Uncovering the story of how Americans helped return some of that art earned Robert Edsel the 2007 National Humanities Award and last spring, resolutions were passed in both houses of Congress to recognize the work of the monuments men.
"They were overlooked after the war," Edsel said, "but these Congress people and senators fully embraced the story as I went around and told them."
Four of the 12 living monuments men, including Harry Ettinger, were there in Washington that day to reminisce about a time and place where good really did triumph over evil.
Learn more about the Monuments Men at Laurel Publishing's Web Site, www.rescuingdavinci.com, and check out screenings of the documentary "The Rape of Europa."
Here's the link to the website: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/27/sunday/main3755983.shtml
Friday, January 25, 2008
A 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!
1.Don't change horses - until they stop running.
2. Strike while - the bug is close.
3. It's always darkest before - Daylight Saving Time.
4. Never underestimate - the power of termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but - How?
6. Don't bite the hand that - looks dirty.
7. No news is - impossible
8. A miss is as good as a - Mr.
9. You can't teach an old dog new - Math
10. If you lie down with dogs, - you'll stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust - Me.
12. The pen is mightier than - the pigs.
13. An idle mind is - the best way to relax.
14. Where there's smoke there's - pollution.
15. Happy the bride who - gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is - not much.
17. Two's company, three's - the Musketeers.
18. Don't put off till tomorrow what you - put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and - You have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as - Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not - spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don't succeed - get new batteries.
23. You get out of something only what you - See in the picture on the box
24. When the blind lead the blind - get out of the way.
25. A bird in the hand is - going to poop on you.
And the WINNER and last one!
26. Better late than - Pregnant
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Discovering and learning new things is exciting.
I hear that soon he will have the "Leopard" book out, but I'm going to spend some time on the "Tiger" book first, and the "Garage Band" and "iTunes and IPod" books.
Also want to get my hands on his "Switching to the Mac" book. This guy is PROLIFIC. There is a listing of all of his books, ranked by release date, here.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.
It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.
In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003. Not surprisingly, the officials with the most opportunities to make speeches, grant media interviews, and otherwise frame the public debate also made the most false statements, according to this first-ever analysis of the entire body of prewar rhetoric.
much more at the link: http://www.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/ (thanks, David)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: January 21, 2008
And it’s also why the furor over Barack Obama’s praise for Ronald Reagan is not, as some think, overblown. The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.
Monday, January 21, 2008
1. Jesus loves you and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a 'we can't find Bin Laden' diversion.
3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Viet Nam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U. N. resolutions against Iraq.
5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational drug corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
10. HMO's and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
11. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
12. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
13. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the internet .
14. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
15. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host, then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
16. Supporting 'Executive Privilege' for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity) goes without saying.
17. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960's is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80's is irrelevant.
18. We should always give our support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.
Many thanks to Rhonda.