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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Something Dick DeVos won't have in his ads

Got this from email He is a supporter of outsourcing policies as advocated by President Bush that have hurt Michigan’s economy, in the worst way. Here are the facts: DeVos Laid Off Michigan Workers As Head Of Amway TwiceIt is an undisputed fact that during DeVos’ time as head of Amway (1993-2002), the company laid off nearly 1,400 Michigan workers. Under DeVos, Amway Invested Millions In ChinaFrom 1993-1998, Amway invested $100 million in China. In 2003, the company decided to add another $120 million in investments. And while he was lamenting job cuts in Michigan in 1998, Dick DeVos sought to affirm his investments in China. Asian Investments Cause Michigan Job LossDeVos has repeatedly argued there is no connection between the company’s investment in China and layoffs in Michigan yet; several press accounts from that time paint an entirely different picture. Amway/Alticor Had Some Tough Years Under DeVosDeVos likes to portray himself as the successful CEO. But during his tenure, Amway suffered through some tough times, enduring the first losses the company had seen in over a decade. In contrast to the DeVos record, Governor Granholm has created a comprehensive plan to grow jobs and boost our economy, and she is working that plan. She will go anywhere and do anything to create and retain jobs in Michigan. And, she will fight to protect our families and educate our children. Governor Granholm puts Michigan first. Michigan does not need DeVos as Governor. We need to reelect Governor Granholm. Please forward this important message to everyone you know! If you live in Michigan I'm not tellin ya to vote for Granholm( if you do that would be cool) but you gotta know what DeVos is all about the clown have these ads talking about I can create jobs when it's not the case, the only place DeVos created jobs are in southeast Asia. I find it really funny those who are critical of Granholm are the same people who supported the former Governor John Engler who in his 3 terms expanded three things 1. his waist line 2.debt 3. his bank account. After 12 years of Engler mess the Michigan Republicans have the never to bring up debt and job lost.

Now we know everything is a lie can we start impeacment now?

Alright Republicans, pro-lifers, right wingers, freeper losers and conservatives there are two memos proving two things Bush cooked the information around the subject of WMD and this latest memo prove Bush wanted to go into Iraq no matter what. So guys on the political right will you now support impeachment hearings? After all you people demanded and support the impeachment of Bill Clinton for trying to cover-up oral sex you claim it wasn't because he had a (D) after his name but rule of law. I would say lying to congress would be consider a high crime don't you Mr. and Mrs. Red State American? Or do you even care that American troops are being blown to pieces for a lie? Hell you people got red in a face when Rush told you a lie about Hillary Clinton held up a airport while getting a hair cut but when it comes to Bush you people look the other way and say you liberals and these wild stories. This president and I use the term very loose has put this country in so much debt that's going to take 12 to 14 years of Democratic or moderate Republican president to clean up the budget debt, less clean air and water so I hope all of you good conservatives have lungs and insides made of steel to prevent those toxic you intake doesn't kill you, bleeding public education so those for profit schools can make out with a nice chuck of change, jobs leaving the country before you conservatives say Bush created jobs the ones he brought to replace those that been lost pay thousands less and he consider working at McDonalds as the same thing as working at a auto plant and less not forget the biggie lying this country into a war. Bush's first excuse was that if we didn't go into a Iraq that Saddam would drop a bomb when that was proven to be false it became Iraq had ties to the terrorist attack to 9.11 when the facts came out that Saddam a secular leader wouldn't support Bin Laden a fundmentalist so there goes the idea of Iraq having ties to terror and now it's about "democracy" yeah right this is the same party that try to limit black folks here from voting and they talking about democracy. To sum up everything conservatives since your guy has been proven to be a liar will you back efforts to have him impeached? Or is your outrage only for those that have (D) after their name or if Rush tell you to be outrage?

Conservative Lie of the day

Media Matters.org Limbaugh blasted kidnapped peace activists again: "self-absorbed, self-inflated, self-important people" who made their rescue "all about them" http://mediamatters.org/items/200603240010 In a discussion during the March 23 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh blasted three members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), who were rescued in Iraq this week in a British-led military operation, stating that "these self-absorbed, self-inflated, self-important people have made this all about them." The three activists, along with a fourth colleague, whose body was found March 9, had been held hostage in Iraq since they were kidnapped in November 2005. As Media Matters for America has noted, when the activists' kidnapping was first reported, Limbaugh said, "I like any time a bunch of leftist feel-good hand-wringers are shown reality. ... I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this." Later in his March 23 program, Limbaugh continued to attack the activists. He claimed that "these people, when they [the activists] go to vote, they're Democrats. They're liberals. They're socialists. They're anti-capitalists. ... But you know they vote Democrat." In fact, of the four activists who were kidnapped, only one -- Tom Fox -- was American, and he was killed before the rescue. The other three were from Canada and the United Kingdom. From the March 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show: CALLER: Right, roger, that's right. You know, the thing is, the guys overseas that went on -- I don't know what unit actually did this; obviously, that's, you know, all classified and everything. But they probably don't care if these guys are ungrateful. That's not really their concern. What really, I think, probably concerned them is the fact that they're wasting their time -- instead going and getting terrorists and getting the bad guys and bringing this war to an end, possibly, over there, they're having to worry about these peace activists and devote time, devote money, devote assets to them instead of possibly going and getting terrorists on that same day. LIMBAUGH: I mean, but, you know, that is exactly right. What you have nailed here is that these self-absorbed, self-inflated, self-important people have made this all about them. They've -- they -- they try to take every -- and I think this goes back to childhood. I think it goes back to the way they were raised. I think it goes back to a whole lot of things in their early days. Everything is about them. They want to be the focus of attention, and they don't mind taking the military off path and out of its mission, and they have no appreciation for it in the first place. I mean, just, totally ungrateful. It -- it's offensive. So I -- I'm -- I'm glad you called. I can -- you sound remarkably composed, given the details of this story. You don't sound like -- [...] LIMBAUGH: Also, went to these -- this group's website, the Christian Peacemaker Teams. And for any of you that had any doubts -- we had Amy call in the last hour, enraged and upset what these people are saying. And I said, "Amy, let 'em speak. Let more and more people find out who they are and what they think." And I said to her, and you heard me because you were listening. You are riveted to this program each day -- it's EIB airborne phenomena spread by casual contact, the only healthful addiction known to exist in America, by the way. And you heard me say that these people, when they go to vote, they're Democrats. They're liberals. They're socialists. They're anti-capitalists, probably from the hate-America, blame-America wing of their organizations. But you know they vote Democrat. The CPT organization did not thank the hostages' rescuers in its initial March 23 press release, but it appended an addendum to the release later that day, stating: "We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have [kidnapped activists] Jim [Loney], Harmeet [Singh Sooden] and Norman [Kember] freed, that we have not adequately thanked the people involved with freeing them, nor remembered those still in captivity ... We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet."

Shocker Halliburton overcharge for Iraq oil work

Halliburton overcharged for Iraq oil work: report By Andrea Shalal-EsaTue Mar 28, 7:30 PM ET Halliburton Co., the world's second largest oil services company, repeatedly overcharged taxpayers and provided substandard cost reports under a $1.2 billion contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields, according to a new report by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record). Waxman, a California Democrat, said Democratic staff members of the House Committee on Government Reform examined a series of previously undisclosed government audits and correspondence that criticized Halliburton's performance under the "Restore Iraqi Oil 2" (RIO2) contract. The documents, which cover the period from January 2004 to July 2005, painted "an absolutely abysmal picture of Halliburton's RIO2 work" and cited profound systemic problems, misleading and distorted cost reports, he said. Halliburton, a Texas-based company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, dismissed the committee report as partisan and said it focused on old issues with the two-year contract that have been resolved. "After two years and from thousands of miles away, it is easy to criticize decisions and actions that were based on urgent mission requirements and severe time constraints," the company said in a statement. Halliburton, the largest private contractor in Iraq, said the contract went through "countless changes" and review by at least 15 different government contracting officials. Waxman, who has introduced legislation to limit sole-source contracts in the future, said lawmakers did not know much about what had happened with the contract since July 2005, adding: "From what we can see, major problems remain." Halliburton said its engineering and construction arm KBR, which is gearing up for an initial public stock offering, had received 30 task orders under the contract to date, for a total current value of nearly $750 million and work was ongoing. The Democratic report said that, in addition to the RIO 2 contract, Halliburton was also paid $13.5 billion for providing troop support under a logistics contract with the U.S. Army, and $2.4 billion under the original RIO contract to import fuel into Iraq and rebuild Iraq oil infrastructure. The Pentagon's Project and Contracting Office (PCO) found that Halliburton repeatedly overcharged the government, Waxman said, citing the documents. PCO put KBR on notice in January 2005 that it could cancel the contract for cause. It lifted the notice six months later, saying KBR demonstrated "adequate" compliance. In January, it exercised one of three one-year options to extend the deal. In one case, the agency said Halliburton tried to inflate cost estimates by $26 million. In another, it said Halliburton claimed costs for laying concrete pads and footings that the Iraqi Oil Ministry had already installed. The report said the same agency reported Halliburton was "accruing exorbitant indirect costs at a rapid rate," while the Defense Contract Audit Agency challenged $45 million of $365 million in costs as unreasonable or unsupported. The PCO also cited "profound systemic problems" with Halliburton's cost reporting and said some documents were stripped of information that would allow tracking of details. It said Halliburton's work under RIO 2 was 50 percent late and officials refused to cooperate with oversight officials. Halliburton, run by Cheney from 1995-2000, has been under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq When enough is enough for the average conservatives? They wanted Clinton's head for lying about oral sex yet these clowns support a white house that has done nothing but put this country in debt, enrich the top 1% and lied this country into a war. Yet they claim Bush is a moral man, a sewer rat has more morals than anyone serving in the Bush white house.

Republicans risk Hispanic support

Republicans risk Hispanic support in border debate By John Whitesides, Political CorrespondentTue Mar 28, 3:28 PM ET The debate on immigration poses deep political risks for a divided Republican Party that could see its recent gains among Hispanics wiped out if Congress approves a bill that gets tough with illegal workers. The Republican split on immigration, on full display as senators took up the issue on Monday amid emotional street protests, could sabotage the party's long-range effort to court the country's fastest growing ethnic group, Hispanic activists and analysts said. "If they go ahead and crack down, Republicans are dead in the Latino community for a generation," said Antonio Gonzalez, a Los Angeles-based community organizer who heads the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. "They are headed off a cliff," he said of Republicans. Party strategists have vivid memories of California's 1994 passage of Proposition 187, which cut off public services for illegal immigrants. The measure, backed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican, was thrown out by the courts but the resulting furor helped turn the state solidly Democratic. "Pete Wilson set back the Republican Party in California," said Daniel Griswold, a trade and immigration expert at the conservative Cato Institute think tank. The intense debate on immigration pits conservatives who favor a tough approach to the country's 12 million illegal immigrants against Republican business interests that rely on immigrant labor. President George W. Bush, mindful of the growing clout of Hispanic voters, has pushed hard for a guest worker program with high Hispanic appeal that would allow immigrants to stay in the country while applying for permanent residency. The House of Representatives approved a bill last year that does not include Bush's guest worker program and tightened a variety of restrictions on illegal immigrants. A Senate committee included a guest worker provision in a measure sent to the full chamber on Monday. The philosophical clash follows years of determined Republican courtship of Hispanics, the nation's largest minority with a population of more than 40 million. That population is projected to more than double by 2050. Unlike blacks, the most reliable of Democratic voters, Hispanic votes have been up for grabs and have become crucial swing blocs in key states like Florida and in emerging battlegrounds like Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona in the Southwest. Bush, a former Texas governor who speaks Spanish, increased his share of the Hispanic vote to more than 40 percent in 2004, up from 35 percent in 2000. Republican Bob Dole won just 21 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 1996 presidential race. IMPACT ON ELECTIONS But that trend is endangered by the sight of Republicans leading the charge for tougher immigration policies, said Perry Vasquez, Colorado state chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. "I'm fearful of the impact this will have," Vasquez said. "The Hispanic community is going to be deciding more elections going forward, and Republicans are missing a real opportunity to bring them in." Marta Guevara, former Washington state chairwoman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, said the debate already was having an effect. "It's already started to hurt Republicans," Guevara said. "I've worked so hard for so many years for the Republican Party, but I'm worried the party isn't concerned about the principles I've been talking about." The risk of alienating Hispanics is much greater than the risk of turning off conservatives, Griswold said. He noted Republicans who supported guest worker programs like Reps. Jeff Flake and Jim Kolbe in Arizona and Chris Cannon in Utah have survived primary challenges from anti-immigration opponents. "The Republican base is not going to abandon the party over immigration, but Republicans are running a very real risk of alienating millions of Hispanic voters," he said. Marisol Jimenez McGee, director of advocacy for El Pueblo, a Hispanic group in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the debate had been devastating for the Hispanic community. She said they would remember how members of Congress voted. "Latinos vote on issues, they don't vote on parties. There will be lots of attention paid to where people stood on this issue. The memory of the community is long," she said. I never understand why Hispanics would ever support George W. Bush and the Republican party. The Republicans use hate for blacks, gays and women rights to get elected, yet there are some hispanics who see it and still vote GOP. If your typical Bush follower dislike blacks you know he hates hispancs.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

One snake replaces another snake

Bolten to Replace Card As Chief of Staff By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent 35 minutes ago Struggling to revive his troubled presidency, President Bush replaced longtime chief of staff Andy Card with budget director Joshua Bolten on Tuesday and gave Bolten authority to make further changes in a White House staff that even Republicans have complained is tired, insular and lacking fresh ideas. Appearing with Bush in the Oval Office, Bolten gave no hint about what, if any, shake-up he might order. But White House officials said no one should doubt his ability to replace Bush aides. "He'll have all the authority he needs ... to make the decisions that he feels best, working with the president," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. Like Card, Bolten, 51, is a Washington insider whose ties reach back to Bush's 2000 campaign for the White House. Democrats — as well as some Republicans — grumbled that the new White House boss looked a lot like the old one. Bush said of Bolten, "He's a man of candor and humor and directness, who's comfortable with responsibility and knows how to lead. No person is better prepared for this important position." Before being named budget director in 2003, Bolten was Card's deputy chief of staff for policy, a colleague of such senior aides as top political adviser Karl Rove and White House counselor Dan Bartlett. Alarmed by Bush's falling approval ratings and White House mistakes — from the bungled Hurricane Katrina reaction to the ill-fated deal to allow an Arab company to manage U.S. ports — Republicans have been urging the president to bring in new advisers with fresh energy. The GOP's concerns have been heightened by anxiety over midterm congressional elections in November. Card, as chief of staff, became a target for blame. Democrats said Card's departure wasn't enough. "Simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic by replacing Andy Card with Josh Bolten without a dramatic change in policy will not right this ship," said Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y. Said Democratic National Committee communications director Karen Finney: "As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Unfortunately for the American people, all President Bush did today was make it clear that they should expect nothing more than the same failed policies they have come to know all too well." Once believed to harbor ambitions of surpassing Sherman Adams' nearly six-year record as the longest serving chief of staff — under Dwight Eisenhower — Card told Bush on March 8 he thought he should leave, McClellan said. Bush decided over the weekend at Camp David to accept the resignation and replace Card with Bolten, the spokesman said. "Ecclesiastes reminds us that there are different seasons, and there is a new season," said Card, whose wife is a Methodist minister. Bush, in an interview with CNN Espanol, declined to say if other changes were in the works. "Well, Josh has just begun to take a look at the White House structure," the president said. "And I haven't had a chance to talk to him about the future yet." To the public, Card may be best known as the aide who calmly walked into a Florida classroom and whispered to Bush that America was under attack on Sept. 11, 2001. A veteran of every Republican administration back to Ronald Reagan's, Card is respected in Washington as fair, smart and hardworking — the first to arrive at the White House around 5:30 a.m. and often the last to leave at night. Card, 58, stood stoically with his hands by his sides as Bush lauded his years of service. Then, gripping the podium, Card said in his farewell: "You're a good man, Mr. President." Card's eyes were watery. He said he looked forward to just being Bush's friend. Bush then gave him five quick slaps on the back, and the two walked out of the Oval Office together. "Andy Card, a longtime friend of mine, is tired," Sen. George Voinovich (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, told reporters later. "That he stayed in this job this long shows how much he cares about this country." As chief of staff, Bolten will regulate the paper flow to Bush's desk, oversee his schedule and determine who gets in to see the president — although some longtime aides have unquestioned access. Bolten was budget chief when the government ran its three largest deficits ever, including the record $413 billion shortfall in 2004 — though most of that was because of the economy and years of decision-making by presidents and lawmakers. "Josh Bolten has a record of failure," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Look at what he's done with our national debt." But Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., said Bush had made a wise decision in picking Bolten. "His reputation among Democrats and Republicans alike is being a tough-minded, skilled conservative but also has an ability to work with Congress, work with Democrats as well as Republicans." Rejecting charges of staff inertia, McClellan said half of Bush's senior aides have been replaced since the president's re-election in 2004. But some in Bush's inner circle — such as Texans Rove, Bartlett, Harriet Miers and McClellan himself — remain at the White House after 5 1/2 years.

The "Liberal" media underreported the Bush-Blair memo

Media ignored, underreported NY Times disclosure of explosive Bush-Blair memo http://mediamatters.org/items/200603280013 Since a March 27 New York Times article confirmed that a leaked British memo appears to contradict President Bush's repeated claim prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that he wanted to avoid war, media have failed to note the full significance of the document and in some cases ignored the story altogether. For instance, major newspapers have yet to feature articles on the memo, and Fox News has not once mentioned the document. CBS and ABC have limited their coverage to several brief mentions of the story. And numerous other reports have failed to contrast the memo's depiction of Bush with his public statements prior to the war. In the Times article, headlined "Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says," staff writer Don Van Natta Jr. examined in detail a five-page memo summarizing a January 31, 2003, Oval Office meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The memo, written by then-chief British foreign policy adviser David Manning, had been previously disclosed in a February 3 Guardian article, as well as in the book Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules (Viking, October 2005) by international law professor Philippe Sands. The document portrays the leaders as skeptical that sectarian violence would follow an Iraq invasion and describes them discussing the possible assassination of Saddam Hussein and considering a proposal to paint a U.S. surveillance aircraft in U.N. colors in the hopes of provoking an Iraqi attack. Moreover, the document proves Bush "was determined to invade Iraq without the [United Nations] second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons," as the Times reported: At their meeting, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair candidly expressed their doubts that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be found in Iraq in the coming weeks, the memo said. The president spoke as if an invasion was unavoidable. The two leaders discussed a timetable for the war, details of the military campaign and plans for the aftermath of the war. [...] At several points during the meeting between Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, there was palpable tension over finding a legitimate legal trigger for going to war that would be acceptable to other nations, the memo said. The prime minister was quoted as saying it was essential for both countries to lobby for a second United Nations resolution against Iraq, because it would serve as "an insurance policy against the unexpected." [...] Mr. Bush agreed that the two countries should attempt to get a second resolution, but he added that time was running out. "The U.S. would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would twist arms and even threaten," Mr. Bush was paraphrased in the memo as saying. The document added, "But he had to say that if we ultimately failed, military action would follow anyway." Bush's positions as reported in the memo -- that U.N. inspectors were unlikely to find weapons, that military action would occur with or without the U.N.'s backing, that the war was unavoidable -- directly contradict many of his public statements in the weeks leading up to the invasion. Between that January 31 meeting and the start of the war on March 19, 2003, the president repeatedly told the American people that he was doing everything possible to avoid military action: On February 10, Bush said, "If war is forced upon us -- and I say 'forced upon us,' because use of the military is not my first choice. ... But should we need to use troops, for the sake of future generations of Americans, American troops will act in the honorable traditions of our military and in the highest moral traditions of our country." On February 13, Bush said, "Military force is always this nation's last option. Yet if force becomes necessary to disarm Iraq and enforce the will of the United Nations, if force becomes necessary to secure our country and to keep the peace, America will act deliberately, America will act decisively, and America will act victoriously with the world's greatest military." On February 20, Bush said that the U.S. will act decisively "if military force becomes necessary to disarm Iraq." He further stated that the nation would liberate the people of Iraq "if war is forced upon us." On February 25, a reporter asked Bush, "What would it take at this point to avoid a war with Iraq?" Bush answered, "Full disarmament." On March 6, Bush said, "I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully." On March 8, Bush said, "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq." On March 16, Bush said, "Saddam Hussein can leave the country, if he's interested in peace. You see, the decision is his to make. And it's been his to make all along as to whether or not there's the use of the military." On March 17, Bush said, "Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it." In light of these statements, the January 31 memo -- and the Times' verification of it -- is obviously significant. Nonetheless, numerous news outlets have failed to cover the story at all, or in some cases failed to cover it adequately. Fox News has ignored it entirely. A Media Matters for America survey of Fox's full March 27 coverage (6 a.m.-11 p.m. ET) and partial March 28 coverage (6 a.m.-noon ET) failed to turn up a single mention of the memo. Similarly, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today all declined to run articles on the memo in their March 28 editions. Both the Associated Press and Reuters have failed to report on the story thus far. By contrast, United Press International ran two articles on March 27 -- one on the memo and one on the White House's reaction to the Times piece. The major networks covered the Times' disclosure of the memo, but their reports varied greatly in the degree to which they conveyed its significance. On the March 27 edition of the CBS Evening News, for instance, anchor Russ Mitchell asked CBS' chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan about the document after her report on recent sectarian violence in Iraq. Logan noted that, according to the document, Blair and Bush believed that there was "unlikely to be warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups in Iraq." But even though the Evening News noted the document in this context, the newscast failed to report the other aspect of the memo: that it contradicted Bush's public claims that he wanted to resolve the Iraq issue diplomatically. Earlier in the day, however, CBS Morning News anchor Susan McGinnis noted the Times' disclosure of the memo and described Bush as "reportedly determined to invade Iraq no matter what the outcome of diplomatic efforts." On the March 23 edition of ABC's World News Tonight, anchor Elizabeth Vargas simply reported that the memo "paints President Bush as eager to provoke Saddam Hussein into war." While she referred to Bush and Blair's discussion of ways to prompt an attack from Hussein and their reported lack of concern about sectarian violence following the Iraq invasion, Vargas made no mention of the document's broader relevance. By contrast, that morning on ABC's Good Morning America, host Robin Roberts briefly mentioned the memo in her rundown of the day's news and noted that it portrayed Bush as "bent on invading Iraq no matter what." Similarly, on the March 27 edition of NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams introduced a report on the story as follows: "In the weeks before the invasion of Iraq, as President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said they were pursuing all options for avoiding a war, a leaked British memo strongly suggests something very different was going on behind closed doors." In the subsequent report, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted that Bush and Blair "were officially on a diplomatic track, but a secret memo now reveals they were determined to go to war six weeks before invading Iraq." CNN's coverage of the memo consisted of a single segment by national security correspondent David Ensor. In the report, which aired three times -- twice on the March 27 edition of The Situation Room (see here and here) and once more on the March 28 edition of American Morning -- Ensor said that the memo described Bush and Blair "talking privately on that day as if they assumed war was inevitable." But rather than note the contradictions between Bush's statements in the memo and his subsequent comments in the weeks following, Ensor focused instead on the leaders' discussion of the possibility of Saddam being assassinated, the idea of provoking an attack on a U.S. surveillance aircraft, and the chances of sectarian violence in Iraq. Of the three cable news networks, MSNBC devoted the most airtime to the British memo and repeatedly emphasized its relevance. On the March 27 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, correspondent David Shuster reported that, according to the document, Bush and Blair were "determined to invade Iraq, whether the U.N. approved it or not and regardless of the results of international arms inspections." Later in the show, host Chris Matthews said that the memo showed that the leaders were "set on an unswerving path to war, even as they publicly kept the door open to negotiations at least six weeks before the war began." Matthews then interviewed Philippe Sands, who said of the memo, "[T]his goes to issues of competence and why, frankly, I think in both Britain and the United States, there needs to be a full investigation of the road to war." Later in the evening, on MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann went further, contrasting the memo's contents with Bush's statement that "[n]o president wants war" -- made in response to a question from Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas at a March 21 press conference. Olbermann said: "Tonight, more evidence to suggest, at least in his case, that might not have been true." He subsequently interviewed Andrea Mitchell, who said that the memo indicated that "whether or not they found weapons of mass destruction, whether or not Saddam Hussein turned anything over, whether or not there was further action by the U.N., none of that was going to matter." Media Matters previously noted the print and broadcast media's failure to coverage the so-called Downing Street memo in June 2005. If anything convince you the media job is to protect the Bush brat this should be the one, remember back in the day when the likes of Monica, Genfier and Paula were coming out against Clinton and how the media stuck the microphone in these chicks face and how they repeat every cooked up Republican created scandal to weaken Clinton support. When it comes to Bush the "mainstream" media is nothing but his PR firm. Along with the Downing Street Memo the latest memo proves Bush and the chickenhawks were going to war no matter what the outcome was.

Friday, March 24, 2006

9.11 and Bush's 'Negligence'

by Robert Parry

n the U.S. government’s pursuit of the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI officials have inadvertently revealed how an even mildly competent George W. Bush could have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people – and set the country on a dangerous course for revenge.

FBI agent Harry Samit, who interrogated Moussaoui weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, sent 70 warnings to his superiors about suspicions that the al-Qaeda operative had been taking flight training in Minnesota because he was planning to hijack a plane for a terrorist operation.

But FBI officials in Washington showed “criminal negligence” in blocking requests for a search warrant on Moussaoui’s computer or taking other preventive action, Samit testified at Moussaoui’s death penalty hearing on March 20.

Samit’s futile warnings matched the frustrations of other federal agents in Minnesota and Arizona who had gotten wind of al-Qaeda’s audacious scheme to train pilots for operations in the United States. But the agents couldn’t get their warnings addressed by senior officials at FBI headquarters.

Another big part of the problem was the lack of urgency at the top. Bush, who had been President for half a year, was taking a month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and shrugged off the growing alarm within the U.S. intelligence community.

Separate from the FBI field agents, the Central Intelligence Agency was piecing the puzzle together from tips, intercepts and other scraps of information. On Aug. 6, 2001, more than a month before the attacks, the CIA had enough evidence to send Bush a top-secret Presidential Daily Briefing paper, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US.”

The CIA told Bush about “threat reporting” that indicated bin-Laden wanted “to hijack a US aircraft.” The CIA also cited a call that had been made to the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates in May 2001 “saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.”

“The system was blinking red” during the summer of 2001, CIA Director George Tenet later told the 9/11 Commission.

Bush’s Justice Department and FBI headquarters were in the loop on the CIA reporting, but didn’t reach out to their agents around the country, some of whom, it turned out, were frantically trying to get the attention of their superiors in Washington.

Then-acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard told the 9/11 Commission that he discussed the intelligence threat reports with FBI special agents from around the country in a conference call on July 19, 2001. But Pickard said the focus was on having “evidence response teams” ready to respond quickly in the event of an attack.

Pickard “did not task field offices to try to determine whether any plots were being considered within the United States or to take any action to disrupt any such plots,” according to the 9/11 Commission’s report.

Contrasting Styles

Amid this bureaucratic inertia, Bush’s role was crucial. As President, he was the best-positioned official to force the various parts of the government to undertake a top-down review of what was known, what evidence was being missed, what could be done.

Richard Clarke, who had been President Bill Clinton’s counterterrorism chief and stayed in that job after Bush took office, said the Clinton administration reacted to such threats with urgent top-level meetings to “shake the trees” at the FBI, CIA, Customs and other relevant agencies.

Clarke said senior managers would respond by going back to their agencies to demand a search for any overlooked information and to put rank-and-file personnel on high alert, as happened when an al-Qaeda plot to bomb Millennium celebrations was thwarted in 1999.

“In December 1999, we received intelligence reports that there were going to be major al-Qaeda attacks,” Clarke said on CNN’s “Larry King Live” two years ago. “President Clinton asked his national security adviser Sandy Berger to hold daily meetings with the attorney general, the FBI director, the CIA director and stop the attacks.

“Every day they went back from the White House to the FBI, to the Justice Department, to the CIA and they shook the trees to find out if there was any information. You know, when you know the United States is going to be attacked, the top people in the United States government ought to be working hands-on to prevent it and working together. ”Now, contrast that with what happened in the summer of 2001, when we even had more clear indications that there was going to be an attack. Did the President ask for daily meetings of his team to try to stop the attack? Did (national security adviser) Condi Rice hold meetings of her counterparts to try to stop the attack? No.”

In a March 19, 2006, speech in Florida, former Vice President Al Gore also noted this contrast between how the Clinton administration reacted to terrorist threats and how the Bush administration did in the weeks before Sept. 11.

“In eight years in the White House, President Clinton and I, a few times, got a direct and really immediate statement like that (Aug. 6, 2001 warning), in one of those daily briefings,” Gore said.

“Every time, as you would want and expect, we had a fire drill, brought everybody in, (asked) what else do we know about this, what have we done to prepare for this, what else could we do, are we certain of the sources, get us more information on that, we want to know everything about this, and we want to make sure our country is prepared.

“In August of 2001,” Gore added, “such a clear warning was given and nothing – nothing – happened. When there is no vision, the people perish.” [To see Gore’s speech on C-Span, click here.]

Gone Fishing

After receiving the CIA’s Aug. 6, 2001, warning, Bush is reported to have gone fishing and cleared brush at his ranch. There is no evidence that he did anything to energize or coordinate the government response to the expected attack.

“No CSG (Counterterrorism Security Group) or other NSC (National Security Council) meeting was held to discuss the possible threat of a strike in the United States as a result of this (Aug. 6) report,” the 9/11 Commission wrote. “We have found no indication of any further discussion before Sept. 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al-Qaeda attack in the United States.”

Talking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on April 4, 2004, the commission’s chairman and vice chairman, New Jersey’s Republican former Gov. Thomas Kean and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., said they believed the Sept. 11 attacks were preventable.

“The whole story might have been different,” Kean said, citing a string of law-enforcement blunders including the “lack of coordination within the FBI” and the FBI’s failure to understand the significance of suspected hijacker Moussaoui’s arrest in August 2001 while training to fly passenger jets.

However, from the recent testimony at Moussaoui’s sentencing hearing, it’s now clear that FBI agents in Minnesota did grasp the significance of the flight training and did send alarming messages to Washington-based FBI officials responsible for counterterrorism. But those officials at headquarters apparently missed or ignored the warnings.

Moussaoui’s defense attorney, Edward B. McMahon Jr., asked Michael E. Rolince, who was chief of the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section, if he was aware that FBI agent Samit had sent a memo to Rolince’s office on Aug. 18, 2001, warning that Moussaoui was a potential terrorist.

“No,” Rolince answered. “What document are you reading?”

Samit’s report “sent to your office,” McMahon replied. Rolince said he never saw the urgent memo. [Washington Post, March 22, 2006]

When the 9/11 Commission interviewed Rolince for its 2004 report, Rolince “recalled being told about Moussaoui in two passing hallway conversations but only in the context that he [Rolince] might be receiving telephone calls from Minneapolis complaining about how headquarters was handling the matter,” though the calls never came, the report said.

But Rolince was not the only senior FBI official oblivious to the missed clues. The 9/11 report said acting FBI director Pickard and assistant director for counterterrorism Dale Watson weren’t briefed on Moussaoui prior to Sept. 11, either.

The significance of the new information from Moussaoui’s hearing – which followed his guilty plea to charges that he had conspired with al-Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism – is that there’s no longer any doubt that key pieces of the puzzle were tantalizing close to the FBI officials who could have done something.

FBI headquarters also blew off a prescient memo from an FBI agent in the Phoenix field office. The July 2001 memo warned of the “possibility of a coordinated effort by Usama Bin Laden” to send student pilots to the United States. The agent noted “an inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest” attending American flight schools.

No action was taken on the Phoenix memo before Sept. 11.

How Incompetent?

Yet, if President Bush had demanded action from on high, the ripple effect through the FBI might well have jarred loose enough of the pieces to make the overall picture suddenly clear, especially in view of the information already compiled by the CIA.

Ironically, that is almost the same argument that federal prosecutors are making in seeking Moussaoui’s execution. It’s not that he was directly involved in the Sept. 11 plot, they say; it’s that the government might have been able to stop the attacks if he had immediately confessed what he was up to.

To some civil libertarians, the case raises troubling Fifth Amendment issues by creating a precedent for putting someone to death who didn’t promptly confess and thus didn’t provide clues that might have prevented a separate murder that the defendant didn’t specifically know about and wasn’t directly involved in.

In effect, the government is basing its demand for Moussaoui’s death on the notion that the failure to do something that might have prevented the tragedy of Sept. 11 should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

However, the Bush administration has taken almost the opposite position on its own culpability. Despite a strong case for criminal negligence – beginning with FBI officials and reaching up to the Oval Office – Bush and other senior officials have insisted they have nothing to apologize for.

Indeed, Bush has made his handling of the Sept. 11 terror attacks the centerpiece of his presidential legacy. Arguably, he rode the whirlwind from the attacks right through the war in Afghanistan to the invasion of Iraq to his second term as President.

Only recently – after a similar case of botched leadership during the Hurricane Katrina disaster – has the air whooshed out of the Bush balloon. Add in the disastrous decisions around the Iraq War and many Americans see a pattern of arrogant, incompetent leadership that fails to give adequate heed to evidence or attention to details.

For other Americans, the theory of Bush’s incompetence doesn’t go nearly far enough to explain the breathtaking lapses that let the Sept. 11 attacks happen.

Some 9/11 skeptics have come to believe that the destruction of the Twin Towers and the damage to the Pentagon must have been an “inside job” with some elements of the Bush administration conspiring with the attackers to create a modern-day Reichstag Fire that would justify invading Iraq and consolidating political power at home.

The new Moussaoui evidence, however, tends to support the theory of incompetence, though of a kind so gross that it would border on criminal negligence, at the FBI as well as the White House.

Perceptive field agents did their job in sending up warning flares to Washington, but a vacationing President and an inattentive FBI bureaucracy failed to take note or take the necessary actions to head off the tragedy.

Then, with the Twin Towers and the Pentagon still smoldering, Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw in the nation’s anger and fear the emotions needed to implement an agenda of authoritarian rule at home and preemptive wars abroad.

Another reason to keep home school kids out of college

Domenech on federal judges' upholding abortion rights: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?" Summary: Washingtonpost.com's newly hired Republican blogger Ben Domenech, in a post about the Supreme Court on his previous weblog, wrote that "[t]he worst black-robed men and women are worse then [sic] the KKK." He also asked rhetorically: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?" Following the Washington Post's recent hiring of Republican activist Ben Domenech to launch the Red America weblog on washingtonpost.com, Media Matters for America has begun a review of some of Domenech's more interesting comments posted on Redstate.com, a partisan Republican blog he helped establish, and other sites. As we noted earlier today -- March 22 -- Domenech recently referred to Coretta Scott King as a "communist." Our ongoing review has also uncovered the following quote from Domenech, under his reported pseudonym "Augustine," in which he was apparently referring to the upholding of a woman's right to an abortion by the federal courts: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?" This comment followed an earlier remark he made in same thread on Redstate.com. In response to a RedState.com diarist who cited James Dobson's comparison of the Supreme Court to the KKK (documented by Media Matters here), Domenech wrote: Actually, Dobson's soft-pedaling it. The worst black-robed men and women are worse then [sic] the KKK, and not just because they have the authority of the state behind them. They don't even use the vile pretense of skin color -- they dismiss the value of all unborn lives, not just the lives of ethnic minorities. On Redstate.com, Domenech also has: Called a pro-choice poster "a pathetic little Kossack." Agreed with a commenter who called Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin "an embarrassment to the saner heads at the paper." Posted portions of an article by First Things magazine editor-in-chief Richard John Neuhaus. In the passage, Neuhaus cited the "astonishingly inordinate incidence of crimes committed by young male blacks and the equally inordinate incidence of abortions procured by black women," adding that "[i]t just happens that killing black babies has the happy result of reducing crime." Neuhaus went on to state that "those who style themselves black leaders, especially political leaders, are overwhelmingly in support of the unlimited abortion license, thus maintaining their distinction of being the only ethnic or racial leadership in history to actively collaborate in dramatically reducing the number of people they claim to lead," and that "[w]hite racists have reason to be grateful for what is sometimes still called the civil rights leadership." Domenech did not comment on Neuhaus's statements. As Media Matters noted March 21 in response to the launch of Red America, Domenech was an editor at the conservative Regnery Publishing Inc., with extensive partisan political credentials and limited experience as a journalist. In his introductory Red America post, Domenech asserted that "unhinged elements" of the Democratic base "have dragged down the Democratic Party for too long." He also criticized the Post's editors and the "mainstream media" in general for, among other things, "treat[ing] red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist," being "slow to recognize the growth in conservative America," and failing to recognize "the greatest pro-gun movie ever," the 1984 Patrick Swayze/Charlie Sheen vehicle "Red Dawn."

New thing coming: Conservatives/ Right wing lie of the day

Before you go John how in the hell you're going to keep up with all the lies that leave conservatives mouths everyday? Two ways if you don't know by now I use Media Matters as a source and if you don't know anything about Media Matters here's a quick sum up David Brock who used to be on the right wing media payroll now runs a media watchdog site that watch and listen to the conservative media or those conservatives who worm their way on the so call mainstream media and report the lies, the half truths would you consider a half truth a complete lie? nevermind and report conservatives who try to slip in their opinion as facts. So I will depend on Media Matters for the conservative lie of the day but it won't only for the conservaties in the right wing whore press, and I will also post lies from everyday conservatives message boards, political chatrooms and politcal sci class should have endless amount of conservaties lies... submit one to me don't be shy and if you're a conservative you can email too it shouldn't be hard after all you guys do depend on the likes like Rush and his butt boy Sean Hannity, The Drudge report, Newsmax and World Daily Net for your imformation.

Dick head Conservative called Coretta Scott King a communist

Domenech called Coretta Scott King a communist Summary: Washingtonpost.com's newly hired Republican blogger Ben Domenech called Coretta Scott King "a communist." Republican activist Ben Domenech, recently hired by The Washington Post to launch the Red America weblog on washingtonpost.com, called the late Coretta Scott King a communist, as noted by The News Blog. In a February 7 post titled "With Regard to Today's Funeral Political Rally," RedState.com blogger "Blanton" condemned King's funeral as a political rally for the left while claiming that he has "a clearer understanding of why the culture of so many black Americans in this country is below what it should be and is capable of being." Domenech responded to Blanton's post under his reported pseudonym "Augustine," titling his comment "The President visits the funeral of a Communist." As Media Matters has noted, while Domenech's partisan Republican credentials are well-established -- he served as a speechwriter for former Bush administration Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and is a co-founder of the partisan blog RedState.com -- his journalism credentials are much thinner, seemingly limited to writing for conservative publications such as Human Events Online, National Review Online, The Washington Times, and The American Conservative during his teen years. In his introductory Red America post, Domenech criticized the Post's editors and the "mainstream media" in general for, among other things, "treat[ing] red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist," being "slow to recognize the growth in conservative America," and failing to recognize "the greatest pro-gun movie ever" (the 1984 Patrick Swayze/Charlie Sheen vehicle "Red Dawn"). As recently as March 2, "Augustine" trashed former washingtonpost.com editor Dan Froomkin -- who now writes the Post website's "White House Briefing" column -- on RedState.com, writing that Froomkin's "status as leader of the hack is without compare." "Augustine" also attacked Democrats as "The Party of Death" in a January 24 entry on abortion. Conservatives wonder why I dislike them with a passion it's crap like this, a woman who probably done more for race relations in this country than Mr. Domench and those little weak ass red state readers will do in three life times. It's funny conservatives can still throw slings and arrows at people that don't fall in line with their "world view" long after their dead but get red in the face when you debunk the myth of Ronnie Raygun "greatness" So here's to Ben Domench and his right wing readers 1. Party of Death: Last time I check it was a Republican Conservative president that 9.11 happen on. Last time I check it was a Republican Conservative president who's lie killed over 2,000 American troops and by his own admission over 30,000 Iraqis. 2. Ronald Reagan: Was a B movie actor and a F president. Whose roommate in the great beyond is probably Ted Bundy. 3. The only difference between Conservatives and Zombies from Night living Dead the zombies can think for themselves. 4. John Wayne like many male conservatives know how to act tough but run like the road runner when the fighting is real. 5. Female Conservatives if they didn't have what their boyfriends or fathers tell them they have no opinion at all. 6. Back to Ronald Reagan I wouldn't put that clown face on a Food Stamp.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Conservatives whining about biased Iraq coverage

From Media Matters.org Following Bush's lead, conservatives mounted offensive against "biased" Iraq war coverage Summary: President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures. As part of the White House's current public relations blitz, President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there. Bush has said that the negative coverage provoked him to explain directly to the public why he remains optimistic about the U.S. mission in Iraq. This accusation -- that the purportedly biased media coverage is undermining support for the war -- has been leveled at news outlets this week not only by the White House; it has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures. The following are examples from recent days of Bush and administration officials directing blame at the media's coverage of Iraq: On March 19, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on CBS' Face the Nation and answered a question about the sagging support for the Iraq war by noting that "there's a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad." During a March 20 press gaggle, White House press secretary Scott McClellan discussed the speech Bush would give later that day in Cleveland. McClellan said that the "dramatic images that people see on the TV screens ... are much easier to put into a news clip" and told reporters that the president would address the "real progress being made toward a democratic future." In his speech to the City Club of Cleveland, Bush said he understood "how some Americans have had their confidence shaken." He continued: "Others look at the violence they see each night on their television screens, and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq." Bush then talked about the town of Tal Afar, which he described as a "concrete example of progress in Iraq that most Americans do not see every day in their newspapers and on their television screens." Later in the speech, Bush said: "The kind of progress that we and the Iraqi people are making in places like Tal Afar is not easy to capture in a short clip on the evening news. Footage of children playing, or shops opening, and people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an IED explosion, or the destruction of a mosque, or soldiers and civilians being killed or injured." During a March 21 press conference, Bush said that "for every act of violence, there is encouraging progress in Iraq that's hard to capture on the evening news." Later in the press conference, Bush claimed that he had presented "a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate. ... They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to. And I can understand how Americans are worried about whether or not we can win. " As the White House mounted its offensive in recent days, the Bush administration's argument that news outlets have consistently ignored the good news in Iraq in favor of reports on bombings, kidnappings, and other atrocities has echoed throughout the media. For instance, as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann noted on the March 22 edition of Countdown, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham appeared on NBC's Today on March 21 and complained that the network's Iraq correspondents only "report[] from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs [improvised explosive devices] going off." Later that day, in an appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Ingraham claimed that there are many in the media "who are invested in America's defeat." O'Reilly, in turn, expressed his belief that "there is a segment of the media trying to undermine the policy in Iraq for their own ideological purposes," as Media Matters for America noted. Beyond O'Reilly, many other Fox News hosts, analysts, and guests similarly attacked the media's coverage of the war: Radio host G. Gordon Liddy said that "those in the news media ... would rather the United States lose a war than have history write that George W. Bush was a successful president." [Hannity & Colmes, 3/20/06] Radio host Tammy Bruce said, "[T]he president has a big order to contradict what the mainstream media is doing." She expressed support for his efforts to "give an overall picture that the mainstream media is not providing the average American." [Fox News Live, 3/20] Host Jon Scott prefaced a question to Sen. George Allen [R-VA] by saying, "We heard the president talk about how things are going better in cities like Tal Afar than the media would have you believe and, lo and behold, out comes a front page story from The Washington Post about how things really aren't that good in Tal Afar." [Fox News Live, 3/21] Syndicated columnist and Fox News political analyst Robert D. Novak said that "the intensity of the hatred ... toward George W. Bush by Democrats and by some of the people in the media is just so intense, and it begins to have a kind of an effect that affects people who don't hate him." [Hannity & Colmes, 3/22/06] Radio host Mark Williams described the "daily drum beat of the mainstream media telling us the we are losing a war that we are winning." [Fox News Live, 3/22/06] Host Sean Hannity said on his syndicated radio show that "the media is intent on undermining the president in this battle" and claimed there "has been a total and almost complete focus on all the negative aspects of the war." He later boasted that Bush had "stuck it in their face. They [the media] are fat, they are lazy, they have a pack mentality, they are partisan, and they are not doing their job, and they are not doing a service for the American people, and they are failing in their mission, and they purposely fail in their mission, and they get away with it each and every day." [ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, 3/22/06] Other conservative media outlets have voiced similar sentiments in recent days: Radio host Hugh Hewitt claimed that "a great deal of American mainstream media is invested in the idea that this [the Iraq war] is a disaster." He further said, "There's quite a lot not being covered because to cover it and to cover it extensively, will not only support the Bush administration decision to go to war here, but make it appear as though it's one of the wisest he has made." [CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, 3/21/06] Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens described a "herd mentality" among the media covering Iraq: "[I]t's been there since before the war, and it's placed a bet on quagmire at best ... and defeat at worst. And in some ways, it doesn't want its prediction to be falsified." [Salem Radio Network's The Hugh Hewitt Show, 3/22/06] A March 22 Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that the Iraq war had been marked by "a relentless stream of media and political pessimism that is unwarranted by the facts and threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophesy if it goes unchallenged." On the March 23 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto interviewed Gayle Taylor, who in the question-and-answer portion of a March 22 town hall meeting in Wheeling, West Virginia, complained to Bush that "it seems that our major media networks don't want to portray the good." Raucous applause followed her comments. During the entire interview, the onscreen text read "AMERICA WANTS TO SEE THE GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ TOO!" Later in the show, during an interview with Fox News host Eric Burns, the onscreen text read "IS THE MEDIA HOPELESSLY BIASED AGAINST PRES BUSH?" The barrage of criticism has led news outlets to devote significant airtime to the issue. CNN has devoted numerous segments to the issue in recent days (see here, here, here, here and here). On the March 23 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, Washington Post media critic and CNN host Howard Kurtz went so far as to endorse the idea that journalists are consciously framing their stories on Iraq negatively. "I think it's not unconnected to the public opinion polls," Kurtz said. "I think journalists are finding it easier to ask aggressive questions of President Bush, to frame the stories more negatively, in terms of the American presence there, because they know a majority of the country now questions or disagrees with that war effort." But while Kurtz attributed the negative coverage to public opinion, CNN anchor Jack Cafferty -- immediately following Kurtz's appearance -- attributed it to the fact that the "news isn't good in Iraq": CAFFERTY: They don't like the coverage, maybe, because we were sold a different ending to this story three years ago. We were told we'd be embraced as conquering heroes, flower petals strewn in the soldiers' paths, unity government would be formed, everything would be rosy. This, three years after the fact, the troops would be home. Well, it's not turning out that way. And if somebody came into New York City and blew up St. Patrick's Cathedral and in the resulting days they were finding 50 and 60 dead bodies on the streets in New York, do you suppose the news media would cover it? You're damn right they would. This is nonsense: "It's the media's fault the news isn't good in Iraq." The news isn't good in Iraq. There's violence in Iraq. People are found dead every day in the streets of Baghdad. This didn't turn out the way the politicians told us it would. And it's our fault? I beg to differ. From the March 19 edition of CBS' Face the Nation: SCHIEFFER: Mr. Vice President, all along the government has been very optimistic. You remain optimistic. But I remember when you were saying we'd be greeted as liberators, you played down the insurgency 10 months ago. You said it was in its last throes. Do you believe that these optimistic statements may be one of the reasons that people seem to be more skeptical in this country about whether we ought to be in Iraq? CHENEY: No. I think it has less to do with the statements we've made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality, than it does with the fact that there's a constant sort of perception, if you will, that's created because what's newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad. It's not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces in terms of making progress towards rebuilding Iraq. From the March 20 White House press gaggle: McCLELLAN: So Iraqi political leaders are continuing to move forward, and they recognize the importance of doing it as quickly as possible to form a government of national unity. They understand the importance of moving as quickly as they can. So I think you have to look at those aspects of what's taking place on the ground. There is certainly the dramatic images that people see on the TV screens which are much easier to put into a news clip. But there is also real progress being made toward a democratic future for the Iraqi people and I think the president will touch on this a little bit in his remarks. From Bush's March 20 address to the City Club of Cleveland: The situation on the ground remains tense. And in the face of continued reports about killings and reprisals, I understand how some Americans have had their confidence shaken. Others look at the violence they see each night on their television screens, and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq. They wonder what I see that they don't. So today I'd like to share a concrete example of progress in Iraq that most Americans do not see every day in their newspapers and on their television screens. I'm going to tell you the story of a northern Iraqi city called Tal Afar, which was once a key base of operations for Al Qaeda and is today a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq. [...] The kind of progress that we and the Iraqi people are making in places like Tal Afar is not easy to capture in a short clip on the evening news. Footage of children playing, or shops opening, and people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an IED explosion, or the destruction of a mosque, or soldiers and civilians being killed or injured. The enemy understands this, and it explains their continued acts of violence in Iraq. Yet the progress we and the Iraqi people are making is also real. And those in a position to know best are the Iraqis, themselves. From Bush's March 21 press conference: Yesterday I delivered a -- the second in a series of speeches on the situation in Iraq. I spoke about the violence that the Iraqi people had faced since last month's bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. I also said that for every act of violence there is encouraging progress in Iraq that's hard to capture on the evening news. [...] Secondly, I am confident -- I believe, I'm optimistic we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out. If I didn't believe we had a plan for victory I wouldn't leave our people in harm's way. And that's important for the woman to understand. Thirdly, in spite of the bad news on television -- and there is bad news. You brought it up; you said, how do I react to a bombing that took place yesterday -- is precisely what the enemy understands is possible to do. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk about it. I'm certainly not being -- please don't take that as criticism. But it also is a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate, and they know that. They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to. And I can understand how Americans are worried about whether or not we can win. From Bush's March 22 town hall meeting in Wheeling, West Virginia: AUDIENCE MEMBER: This is my husband, who has returned from a 13-month tour in Tikrit. BUSH: Oh, yes. Thank you. Welcome back. AUDIENCE MEMBER: His job while serving was as a broadcast journalist. And he has brought back several DVDs full of wonderful footage of reconstruction, of medical things going on. And I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, for a solution to this, because it seems that our major media networks don't want to portray the good. They just want to focus -- (applause) -- BUSH: Okay, hold on a second. AUDIENCE MEMBER: They just want to focus on another car bomb, or they just want to focus on some more bloodshed, or they just want to focus on how they don't agree with you and what you're doing, when they don't even probably know how you're doing what you're doing anyway. But what can we do to get that footage on CNN, on Fox, to get it on headline news, to get it on the local news? Because you can send it to the news people -- and I'm sorry, I'm rambling -- like I have -- BUSH: So was I, though, for an hour. AUDIENCE MEMBER: -- can you use this, and it will just end up in a drawer, because it's good, it portrays the good. And if people could see that, if the American people could see it, there would never be another negative word about this conflict. BUSH: Well, I appreciate that. No, it -- that's why I come out and speak. I spoke in Cleveland, gave a press conference yesterday -- spoke in Cleveland Monday, press conference, here today. I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing to try to make sure people can hear there's -- why I make decisions, and as best as I can, explain why I'm optimistic we can succeed. One of the things that we've got to value is the fact that we do have a media, free media, that's able to do what they want to do. And I'm not going to -- you're asking me to say something in front of all the cameras here. Help over there, will you? I just got to keep talking. And one of the -- there's word of mouth, there's blogs, there's Internet, there's all kinds of ways to communicate which is literally changing the way people are getting their information. And so if you're concerned, I would suggest that you reach out to some of the groups that are supporting the troops, that have got Internet sites, and just keep the word -- keep the word moving. And that's one way to deal with an issue without suppressing a free press. We will never do that in America. I mean, the minute we start trying to suppress our press, we look like the Taliban. The minute we start telling people how to worship, we look like the Taliban. And we're not interested in that in America. We're the opposite. We believe in freedom. And we believe in freedom in all its forms. And obviously, I know you're frustrated with what you're seeing, but there are ways in this new kind of age, being able to communicate, that you'll be able to spread the message that you want to spread. From the March 21 broadcast of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor: O'REILLY: But here's my problem. And this is a serious problem. We saw it at the top of the show with what's-her-name who was bantering with Bush -- the older woman. INGRAHAM: [Hearst Newspapers columnist] Helen Thomas. O'REILLY: Helen Thomas. I believe that there is a segment of the media trying to undermine the policy in Iraq for their own ideological purposes. It's no longer dissent. It's no longer skepticism. It's, "We want to undermine it," and that disturbs me. Do you see that? INGRAHAM: I see that pretty much every day, that there is a group of people who are invested in America's defeat, in a -- in one of the most important conflicts in our nation's history. And being invested in defeat as an American -- I don't care if you're a reporter, a commentator, or a businessperson. How have we gotten to this point in this country regardless of what people think of Bush? O'REILLY: Because of hatred. Ideological hatred got us to that point. From the March 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes: LIDDY: What concerns me is -- and I do not put you, Alan, in this category -- I actually think that there are some persons, including those in the news media, who would rather the United States lose a war than have history write that George W. Bush was a successful president. COLMES: Who would that be? LIDDY: And I think that's pretty bad. COLMES: Who? LIDDY: The national -- NBC, NBC, CBS, CNN, that crowd. From the March 20 edition of Fox News Live: BRUCE: I love the fact that [Chicago Tribune deputy managing editor] Jim [Warren] is admitting that, in fact, ultimately in the long run, just like with Germany and Japan, that our presence there will pay off -- that it's worth doing. And I think the president has a big order to contradict what the mainstream media is doing. You know, my favorite problem here. But that's the reality. And that's why he needs to have these press conferences. He needs to be very clear -- frankly, not too detailed. But give an overall picture that the mainstream media is not providing the average American. From the March 21 edition of Fox News Live: SCOTT: Joining us now from the University of Virginia, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, Virginia Republican Senator George Allen. Senator, we heard the president yesterday talk about how things are going better in cities like Tal Afar than the media would have you believe and, lo and behold, out comes a front-page story from The Washington Post about how things really aren't that good in Tal Afar. What do you make of that? From the March 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes: HANNITY: I don't understand one thing. Why isn't the message of success on the economy, the message of success in Afghanistan and Iraq, why does it not seem to be getting out that much? NOVAK: Well, there are several reasons. One reason is that the -- the intensity of the hatred, and I use the word "hatred" advisedly, toward George W. Bush by Democrats and by some of the people in the media is just so intense, and it begins to have a kind of an effect that affects people who don't hate him. I think the 2000 election is still in the craw of many Democrats that can't accept this president. From the March 22 edition of Fox News Live: WILLIAMS: I think what you see reflected in the polls is the daily drumbeat of the mainstream media telling us that we are losing a war that we are winning. It's as simple as that. Television works, and if you pound a message home enough, it sooner or later will show up in the polls. From the March 22 edition of The Sean Hannity Show: HANNITY: And the bottom line, and the truth here, is that the media is intent on undermining the president in this battle, in this conflict, in this war, and they have been that way from the very beginning. There has been a total and almost complete focus on all the negative aspects of the war. Now, we got a little taste of this during the Vietnam War, we got a little taste when Reagan was president. [...] And if it weren't for the alternative media, where would you ever hear any of these things? And what the president did yesterday is he stuck it in their face. They are fat, they are lazy, they have a pack mentality, they are partisan, and they are not doing their job, and they are not doing a service for the American people, and they are failed in their mission, and they purposely fail in their mission, and they get away with it each and every day. And you know, what finally -- it's good the president has decided and his aides have decided, "Let's expose this." From the March 21 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360: HEWITT: That having been said, a great deal of American mainstream media is invested in the idea that this is a disaster, that it will bring down Bush, that it was a mistake at the beginning, and disaster for the Middle East. They are pushing that agenda, quite obviously, over and over again, to the exclusion of important stories like the book by Georges Sada, Saddam's general, like the Philippine -- the documents released today, covered in The Weekly Standard, about the Kuwaiti hostages denied by Iraq having even been there but now revealed today to have been used as human shields by the matazahadr (ph) sons of Saddam. There's quite a lot not being covered because to cover it and to cover it extensively, will not only support the Bush administration decision to go to war here but make it appear as though one of the wisest he has made. And indeed, investment in the failure of this operation is what is bringing increased contempt for the American media across the land except on the noisy left. And the noisy left doesn't win elections. From the March 23 edition of CNN's The Situation Room: BLITZER: Howie, is it true -- based on your observation of the news media, as the president and the vice president continue to maintain -- that the negative -- all of our mainstream media reporting has tended to be on the negative? KURTZ: Well, certainly not all of it, Wolf. And I don't agree with that woman in West Virginia who said that journalists are doing this because they don't agree with the Bush policy. But I've looked very carefully in recent weeks from the time of those mosque bombings through the third-year anniversary stories of the U.S.-led invasion, and the tone of a whole lot of this coverage has been negative, has been downbeat, has been pessimistic. In part, that's because a lot of the news out of Iraq has not been good. But I think we may be reaching kind of a tipping point here that we saw in Vietnam, where the press coverage seems to tilt against this war effort. BLITZER: So you've seen a change in recent weeks? Is that what you're saying? KURTZ: Absolutely, compared to, say, a year ago or two years ago. I think it's not unconnected to the public opinion polls. I think journalists are finding it easier to ask aggressive questions of President Bush, to frame the stories more negatively, in terms of the American presence there, because they know a majority of the country now questions or disagrees with that war effort. I do think, however, that a lot of journalists make an effort to talk to ordinary Iraqis and to report on signs of progress. But let's face it: In our business, the car bombing, the suicide attack, the attack on a police station, those tend to be top of the newscast, top-of-the-front-page kinds of stories. The other reconstruction efforts are less dramatic and tend to get pushed back. [...] CAFFERTY: You know, I just have a question. I mean, the coverage -- they don't like the coverage, maybe, because we were sold a different ending to this story three years ago. We were told we'd be embraced as conquering heroes, flower petals strewn in the soldiers' paths, unity government would be formed, everything would be rosy. This, three years after the fact, the troops would be home. Well, it's not turning out that way. And if somebody came into New York City and blew up St. Patrick's Cathedral and in the resulting days they were finding 50 and 60 dead bodies on the streets in New York, do you suppose the news media would cover it? You're damn right they would. This is nonsense: "It's the media's fault the news isn't good in Iraq." The news isn't good in Iraq. There's violence in Iraq. People are found dead every day in the streets of Baghdad. This didn't turn out the way the politicians told us it would. And it's our fault? I beg to differ. Whoa wait a sec here now the conservatives are making dokie in their panties about the coverage of Iraq, the media has done nothing but cover the smirking half wit ass for the past six years and they're whining about the media coverage on Iraq. Face it conservatives everything your Bush brat said about Iraq is a lie and the media whores can't change it, No WMD, No ties to terror and you don't call bombing raids showing Iraqis freedom. Ok Conservatives I got a deal with you I got like 700 in the bank how about I buy each of you in the whore conservative media a plane ticket and you guys search for the good news and I don't mean hiding out in the green zone go around into the towns and if you make it back in one piece or better yet alive then I join your side. Do we have a deal conservatives?

Showing how lame the Conservatives have become Scarborough attack Zogby

Scarborough said Arab-American pollster Zogby "may be biased" on Iraq war and "the Middle East situation" Summary: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed that John Zogby, president and CEO of the polling firm Zogby International and an Arab-American, "may be biased" on the issue of the Iraq war and "the Middle East situation." On the March 22 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host Joe Scarborough claimed that John Zogby, president and CEO of the polling firm Zogby International and an Arab-American, "may be biased" on the issue of the Iraq war and "the Middle East situation." In a discussion of the media's portrayal of the war, Scarborough referenced a February 28 New York Times column by Nicholas D. Kristof that covered a poll conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College. The poll asked 944 U.S. troops serving in Iraq, "How long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?" Twenty-three percent of respondents said the troops should stay in Iraq "as long as they are needed," and 72 percent answered that the United States should exit the country within the next year. From the March 22 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country: SCARBOROUGH: [L]ast week Nick Kristof [a New York Times columnist] also wrote about this Zogby poll. I think it's important to talk about that Zogby has -- I think Zogby himself may be biased on this issue regarding this war, regarding Middle East -- the Middle East situation Joey Scar like many of the conservatives in this country are blaming everyone but the guy they put in the white house for what's going on in Iraq.

Reid: Bush 'Dangerously Incompetent'

AP) Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called President Bush "dangerously incompetent" on Wednesday and said the administration ought to be doing more to prevent increasing sectarian violence in Iraq. "Where is (Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice? Why isn't she over in the Middle East, as the chief diplomat of this country should be, trying to get the political forces to form a government over there?" Reid told The Associated Press. Rice is currently in the Bahamas to meet with 14 foreign ministers and the secretary-general of the Caribbean Community and Common Market, a regional trade bloc known as Caricom. Reid said the United States was "failing three different ways in Iraq." Military efforts have lagged, the economy is crippled by decreased oil production and frequent power outages, and attempts to form a national unity government are behind schedule, he said. Criticism of the president has been steadily increasing among Democrats and even fellow Republicans. With the Mr. Bush's poll numbers sliding because of the Iraq war, the much criticized effort by an Arab company to oversee operations at some U.S. ports and the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, many lawmakers are trying to distance themselves from the president as congressional elections draw closer. While Mr. Bush has been speaking directly to Americans about the progress in Iraq through a series of recent appearances around the country, Reid lambasted that effort. "Why isn't he spending time with these leaders in the Middle East trying to get this government formed?" Reid said. U.S. officials have stepped up pressure on Iraqi officials to form the new government — a process that has been largely stalled in the face of rising sectarian tensions that have left hundreds of Sunni and Shiite Muslims dead over the past few of weeks while raising the scepter of civil war in the country. Reid described the conditions Iraq as "low-grade civil war." "I don't know how you define civil war. We know they're killing an average of 50 Iraqis a day. At least it's a low-grade civil war, that's for sure," he said. Reid also responded to comments the president made Tuesday when he said his successor in the White House would likely be responsible for deciding when U.S. troops leave Iraq. "To me it shows how dangerously incompetent he is," Reid said. "'Stay the course, mission accomplished, bring 'em on,' the American people are sick of that. We need to change course in Iraq. ... I think the president burying his head in the sand is not going to do the trick." I hope Harry Reid doesn't back down on this one like he did the last time..But knowing how the "leadership" been actin for the past five years it wouldn't shock me Harry will be saying sorry anytime soon.