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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Media Matters proves again the right are running out of steam

Media flacks for McCain's false "flak" attack on Obama's spelling http://mediamatters.org/items/200705260002 Radio host Rush Limbaugh, Politico senior political writer Jonathan Martin, and other media figures uncritically repeated Sen. John. McCain's (R-insane) attack on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) spelling of "flack jacket" with a "c" in "flack," without noting -- as MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira did -- that "flack" is an "alternative to the spelling of 'flak.' " Indeed, the phrase "flack jacket" with a "c" appears on dozens of military websites. Obama, responding in part to McCain's criticism of his recent Iraq war vote, issued a May 25 press release arguing that "the course we are on in Iraq" is not "working." Obama said "a reflection of that [is] the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket" and other military protection when walking through a Baghdad market during a trip to Iraq in April. In a response the same day, McCain took issue with Obama's spelling: "By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket." In his report on McCain's attack, Viqueira cited Webster's New World Dictionary to prove that "flack" is an alternative to "flak The spelling of "flack jacket" with a "c" is also present on numerous military websites: A photo caption from the Department of Defense's webpage: "The Norwegian Army Telemark Company is hosting the Viking Run, an annual physical fitness test in the Norwegian Army. It consists of running 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) over rough terrain wearing a combat uniform, flack-jacket, long-barrel rifle, 2 full ammunition magazines, and a helmet totaling a minimum of 11 kilograms." A first person narrative, "The Most Decorated Ammunition Company in Vietnam," by retired Brig. Gen. Richard F. Allen, which appeared in the September-October 2000 edition of Army Logistician: "Laughing, he told me that at 0330 he had been awakened by the club officer, dressed in civilian clothes but wearing a steel helmet and a flack jacket and carrying a double-barreled shotgun. The club officer told him that the VC were attacking all over the place and that an attack on the officers' club could occur at any time." The official transcript of a September 2001 press conference with then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld: RUMSFELD: What we're seeing here is all of the complicated gradations and dimensions of this problem and our task -- the task of people who value freedom and the ability to get up in the morning as you people did and walk out without having to wear a flack jacket or hide in your cellar or look up and down the street for fear someone's going to shoot you. A June 16, 2004, Army News Service article: "At about 16 pounds, IBA [Interceptor Body Armor] is lighter than the 25-pound Vietnam-era flack jacket it replaced and it offers better protection, [Brig. Gen. James] Moran said." An article by Capt. Andra Higgs in the February 2006 issue of Contact, an "authorized publication of the Air Force Reserve's 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California:" "'I was planning to get out of the Air Force as soon as I got back,' said Sargeant [sic] [Wilsondo] Alteus, teary eyed while standing on the dusty base wearing a desert camouflage flack jacket and Kevlar helmet." In a May 25 weblog post on Politico.com, Martin uncritically repeated McCain's attack on Obama's spelling and provided his interpretation of the criticism, but did not challenge McCain's assertion that "flack" was incorrect: But, McCain being McCain, he can't help himself and goes the next step in the statement's kicker: "By the way, Senator Obama, it's a 'flak' jacket, not a 'flack' jacket." Which is to say, "there is only one of us in this argument who has ever worn the uniform." (my words) On the May 25 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh cited Martin's blog post, quoted the "flak" line of the McCain press release, and then emphasized McCain's point: "His spelling -- with a 'c' is how Obama spells it -- and that's wrong. There's no 'c' in 'flak.' " Several other media outlets also uncritically repeated McCain's attack on Obama's spelling: The Hill staff writer Klaus Marre wrote: "The former Navy pilot and prisoner of war then took a shot at Obama for making a mistake in his statement. 'By the way, Senator Obama, it's a "flak" jacket, not a "flack" jacket,' McCain said." A link to The Hill article on The Drudge Report reported that "McCain ... [m]ocks Obama for not knowing how to spell 'flak jacket'...": The Drudge Report later removed the link to The Hill from the top of the website and replaced it with a similar link to Martin's blog post: "McCain ... [m]ocks Obama for drug use, not knowing how to spell." From the May 25 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show: LIMBAUGH: And John McCain has just -- and not just McCain, but lot of Republican candidates. But McCain has come out and just slammed Obama. "McCain being McCain can't help it." This is from The Politico. "He goes the next step in the statement's kicker. 'By the way, Senator Obama, it's a "flak jacket," not a "flack jacket." ' " His spelling, with a "c," is how Obama spells it, and that's wrong. There's no "c" in flak. And then, a McCain aide said this about Obama after this vote. "Barack Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong." Now, I know those of you in Rio Linda [California] know what a bong is, but you might not know what an RPG is -- rocket propelled grenade. This is hot and heavy. Going into the Memorial Day weekend McCain's staffer says Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong? A bong is a -- you smoke illegal drugs with it. From the 2 p.m. hour of the May 25 edition of MSNBC Live: VIQUEIRA: It started with John McCain accusing Barack Obama of being in the pocket of MoveOn[.org] and other liberal organizations who had threatened to withhold their endorsement of any candidate who voted for this thing. Well, Barack Obama responded this morning. He says that Governor [Mitt] Romney [R-MA], who also criticized him, and Senator McCain "clearly believe the course we are on in Iraq is working. I do not." And then he goes on to point out a sort of infamous incident where John McCain and a congressman, Mike Pence [R-IN], and other conservatives were visiting a market in Baghdad a couple of months ago. And Obama says, "If there was ever a reflection of that, it's the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket, 10 armored Humvees, two Apache helicopters,100 soldiers with rifles to stroll through that market." And then responding to that -- let me put down this book here for a second. Responding to that -- ALEX WITT (host): We have props. VIQUIERA: Whoa, OK. We have props. Responding to that was Senator John McCain, who sort of paints Obama as a dilettante without the service and experience combined that John McCain has. But then he says, "By the way, Senator Obama, it's a flak jacket" -- F-L-A-K -- "not a flack jacket," F-L-A-C-K, taunting Obama on the basis of the spelling in Obama's previous press release. Well, listen, I got the dead tree edition of Webster's New World Dictionary here, 3rd College Edition, actually. It says actually that "flack" -- F-L-C-K [sic] -- setting the record straight here -- is a noun, and it's alternative to the spelling of "flak" -- F-L-A-K. Alex, that was a long way around, but I finally got to the point there. WITT: Are you like a type-A student? Were you a type-A student in college, Mike? Were you one of those -- just kind of like -- really obnoxious, having to get every single detail right? Sidebar take: If this is the best the right has against Obama man the Repuglican party are in deep trouble.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Op-ed: Throwing the Dems overboard? Hell no

Alright I'm pissed too that the Democrats gave in and passed a war bill without time lines, but if anyone is thinking let's throw the Democrats overboard are crazy, now if you want to go back to the good ole days of corrupt Republican majority be my guest but you can no longer complain about what's going on because you're be partially responsible if the Republicans some how get the majority back in 2008. Now since the Democrats been in charge members of the Bush White House have to finally explain their actions to the congress two years ago that would have been a sick joke notion of congress making Bush White House officials to testify about their actions. The Republicans would swept the attorney story under the rug and any other scandal that had the potential to sink the Bush White House would be only talked about on liberal blogs. We on the left has to understand the political reality, we don't have a veto proof majority and you people should know the media hasn't been in the business of informing or educating the American public about two decades so whores like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest will spend weeks and weeks telling the American public see the Dems hate the troops they're leaving our troops to fend for themselves, now you might said well Johnny C the vast majority of Americans don't support the war what's the fear? Then I will say dude where have you been? The right wing media knows this but they will spin it as this our troops are stuck in the middle of the desert and thanks to the Democrats they will have to deal with no extra armor, no extra bullets, no protective cars it's about the Dems leaving the soldiers in a war zone with nothing not getting them out of the meat grinder they will pound that message into the American public from now to 08. And since this is the same American public that gave us two terms of George W. Bush and12 years of the most corrupt congress ever in history it wouldn't shock me if the right wing narrative sunk in with them. Now if you're going to focus your rage at anyone it's the Republicans in the senate, remember the Dems have 51 to 49 lead over the Republicans and that number been reduced due to Tim Johnson is still recovering and Joe LIEberman will side with the Bush White House regarding the war. My belief is the vast majority of the Democrats want this farce of a war to end but in reality the Republicans in the senate for whatever reason (cough blackmail) have decided to stick it out with Junior Bush failed Iraq policy. The real problem for the Democratic party isn't lack of courage because anyone who sitting in a radio station, tv studio or writing on a blog can say yeah if I was in Washington I give that monkey face half wit hell the reality is thanks to the barrage of non stop right wing media along with the corporate media the average American knows more about who's Paris Hilton is sleeping with then you need 2/3 to overturn a president veto which the Democrats do not have. So instead of voting green, help vote more Republicans out.

Breaking News: Hannity tells a lie about a dem

Hannity suggested Edwards' "primping" is evidence that he does not "understand[] the nature of the battle in the war that's being waged against us" http://mediamatters.org/items/200705250008 On the May 24 broadcast of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity asserted that Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (NC) -- whom he referred to as the "$400 haircut man" -- is "not really viewed as somebody that is up to the task of understanding the nature in the battle in the war that's being waged against us." As evidence, Hannity pointed to a video of Edwards fixing his hair prior to a televised interview and the fact that Edwards recently spent $400 on a haircut. Hannity then asked executive director of Young Voter PAC Jane Fleming: "You don't see inherent weaknesses here in this campaign?" As Media Matters for America documented, the media recently devoted extensive coverage to the news -- first "broken" by Politico senior political writer Ben Smith on April 16 -- that Edwards' campaign spent $800 on two haircuts. The story was covered by major print, broadcast, and cable outlets, and often featured characterizations of Edwards as "pretty" and the "Breck girl" -- echoing Republican and conservative attacks on Edwards dating back to 2004. On April 19, Edwards said that charging the haircuts to the campaign was a mistake and said he was reimbursing the money. Hannity also asserted that Edwards "charges $55,000 speeches on poverty to students" -- a reference to a speech at the University of California at Davis that the Edwards campaign said was largely or entirely funded through ticket sales and sponsorship, as Media Matters has documented -- and cited Edwards' statement in a May 23 speech that the "war on terror is a ... bumper sticker." Hannity failed to report that the speech, while critical of the Bush administration's approach, explained Edwards' own strategy for fighting terrorism, as Media Matters has also noted. During the show, Hannity aired the YouTube video of Edwards fixing his hair, then immediately followed it with graphic still images of what he said was an "Al Qaeda manual." While airing the video and showing the graphic images, Hannity said: "And meanwhile, you know, when you juxtapose those images [of Edwards fixing his hair] that go on forever with the images that we have out today that came -- this Al Qaeda manual that talks about drilling hands, severing limbs, dragging people behind cars, eye removal, blow-torching people at the skin, suspending people from a ceiling, breaking limbs -- and then I think of the guy with the $400 haircut that primps his hair this way." He also asserted that Edwards "really is what [Democratic strategist] Bob Shrum ... describes him as. He is an intellectual lightweight." Hannity then told Fleming: "[T]he fact that you support him is frightening to me, because it tells me you don't understand the nature of the times we live in." Near the end of the segment, co-host Alan Colmes asked: "Don't Republicans comb their hair, too?" Fleming then said: "Sean, I've seen you primp -- trust me. ... I've seen you get ready for your Fox things, too. You primp also." Hannity responded: "I take three minutes -- three and a half." Hannity had previously claimed that the Edwards video "goes on for five minutes." From the May 24 broadcast of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes: HANNITY: Jane Fleming, look. Bob Shrum comes out with a book, I mean, and he worked very closely with John Edwards in the Kerry campaign. He describes your candidate as an overambitious lightweight that Kerry regretted even putting on the ticket. If you look at -- he's now recently said he wants to use Memorial Day services for people to go out and make an anti-war statement. We've got the $400 haircut man that charges $55,000 speeches on poverty to students, and now he says the war on terror is a bumper sticker. You add that with this video we have of him primping his hair prior to an interview -- he's not really viewed as somebody that is up to the task of understanding the nature in the battle in the war that's being waged against us. You don't see inherent weaknesses here in this campaign? FLEMING: No, I absolutely don't. I think Edwards is a person of character and strength. And the Memorial Day weekend activities that you're talking about, it's called "Support the Troops. End the War," and it's absolutely correct. They're not only doing anti-war protests. A lot of people are going to Walter Reed. They're helping people that are veterans, and so that's completely off the table. Let's talk about the $400 haircut just for once and for all, right? He did not know how much it was going to cost. He had somebody cut his hair on -- HANNITY: All right, let me show Ann Coulter. FLEMING: -- location. It cost $400. Ann, wait, just one more thing. HANNITY: I know. OK. FLEMING: And you guys continue to talk about this. HANNITY: Well, let's run some video. Hang on a second. FLEMING: I am starting to wonder, do you think that Edwards' hair looks better than yours -- HANNITY: All right, but listen -- FLEMING: -- and that's why you keep on talking about it? I just -- I'm unclear. HANNITY: No, I -- 100 percent. Let's run the video, which I think is the funniest video that YouTube has ever put up here of -- FLEMING: Yes, and your friend, Michelle Malkin, has it on her site, too. HANNITY: -- John Edwards on the set, getting ready for an interview. This goes on for five minutes: the primping of the hair over and over and over again. And meanwhile, you know, when you juxtapose those images that go on forever with the images that we have out today that came -- this Al Qaeda manual that talks about drilling hands, severing limbs, dragging people behind cars, eye removal, blow-torching people at the skin, suspending people from a ceiling, breaking limbs -- and then I think of the guy with the $400 haircut that primps his hair this way, and I compare it to him saying that, you know, there's no global war on terror, he really is what Bob Shrum, the Democrat, describes him as. He is an intellectual lightweight, and the fact that you support him is frightening to me, because it tells me you don't understand the nature of the times we live in. [...] COLMES: Don't Republicans comb their hair, too? They just don't do it on camera, maybe, but I hope they comb their hair. FLEMING: And Sean, I've seen you primp -- trust me. COULTER: Can I just say -- COLMES: All right, thank you -- FLEMING: I've seen you get ready for your Fox things, too. You primp also. COLMES: Thank you both very much for hanging with us. HANNITY: I take three minutes -- three and a half.

Al-Sadr calls for US pullout from Iraq

Print Story: Al-Sadr calls for U.S. pullout from Iraq on Yahoo! News Al-Sadr calls for U.S. pullout from Iraq By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr resurfaced Friday after nearly four months in hiding and demanded U.S. troops leave Iraq, a development likely to complicate U.S. efforts to crack down on violence and broker political compromise in the country. Hours later, the notorious leader of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in the city of Basra was killed in a shootout as British and Iraq troops tried to arrest him, police and the British military said, further enflaming tensions in the Shiite areas of southern Iraq. The U.S. military also announced the deaths of eight U.S. soldiers and one Marine, putting May on pace to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces here in years. Al-Sadr went underground — reportedly in Iran — at the start of the U.S.-led security crackdown on Baghdad 14 weeks ago. He also had ordered his militia off the streets to prevent conflict with U.S. forces. His return to the Shiite holy city of Najaf appeared to be an effort by the 33-year-old firebrand cleric to regain control over his militia, which had begun fragmenting, and to take advantage of the illness of a Shiite rival. There had also been some indication that his absence from the national arena was costing him political support. Al-Sadr drove in a long motorcade from Najaf to its sister city of Kufa to deliver an anti-American sermon to 6,000 chanting supporters at the main mosque. "No, no for Satan. No, no for America. No, no for the occupation. No, no for Israel," the glowering, black-turbaned cleric chanted in a call and response with the crowd. "We demand the withdrawal of the occupation forces, or the creation of a timetable for such a withdrawal," he said, wiping sweat from his brow with a white cloth as temperatures hovered at 113 degrees. "I call upon the Iraqi government not to extend the occupation even for a single day." While the call for a U.S. pullout was nothing new, al-Sadr also peppered his speech with nationalist overtones, criticizing the government for not providing services, appealing to his followers not to fight with Iraqi security forces and reaching out to Sunnis. "To our Iraqi Sunni brothers, I say that the occupation sows dissension among us and that strength is unity and division is weakness," he said. "I'm ready to cooperate with them in all fields." Al-Sadr did not address his reasons for returning. However, during his time in absentia his militia appeared to have split into a faction calling itself the "noble Mahdi Army" and more extremist elements that it accuses of killing innocent Sunnis and embezzling funds. Some members of the more moderate faction were even willing to provide the U.S. military with information on their rivals in an effort to purge the militia. In addition to trying to rein in the force, Al-Sadr is also believed to be honing plans to consolidate political gains and foster ties with Iran — and possibly trying to capitalize on the illness of Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and went to Iran for treatment. Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said al-Sadr might have come back to try to garner Sunni support, establish himself as a critic of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and take the mantle as the leading Iraqi opponent of the U.S. presence here. "In doing so, he can ride a wave of public opinion that sees the U.S. as having failed, coalition forces as a 'threat,' and is deeply frustrated with a weak Maliki government," he wrote in an analysis. Al-Sadr's associates say his strategy rests in part on his belief that Washington will soon start reducing troop strength, leaving behind a hole in Iraq's security and political power structure that he can fill. He also believes al-Maliki's government may soon collapse because of its failure to improve security, services and the economy, they say. In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe expressed hope that al-Sadr's reappearance signaled he wanted "to play a positive role inside Iraq." "He has an opportunity to be a part of the political reconciliation process. We'll see if he and his followers participate," he said. Later Friday, the Mahdi Army received a blow when its Basra leader, Wissam al-Waili, 23, also known as Abu Qadir, was shot and killed along with his brother and two aides during a gunbattle with British and Iraqi troops, police and the British military said. The battle began about 4 p.m. during a raid to arrest al-Waili in Jumhoriyah, a middle class, residential area in central Basra, police said. Al-Waili and his three companions opened fire and were killed when the troops shot back, police said. Several hours later, Mahdi Army militants broke into the home of a former top Iraqi officer in Basra, set one Humvee on fire and stole another. Late Friday and into the early hours of Saturday, Mahdi Army loyalists surrounded a police station after hitting it with mortar fire, a top Basra police official said. He claimed that British helicopters responded and fired on a house near the police station to drive away the attackers. A second top police officer said two British forces and an Iraqi policeman were wounded. He said five Mahdi Army fighters were killed and 15 wounded. Both police officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. The Ministry of Defense in London said a handful of militants was in the area and that there was a small number of casualties from "indirect fire," military terminology for mortar or rocket attacks. The ministry did not confirm the reported intervention by British helicopters. Al-Sadr's return came amid signs that the sectarian violence which plagued Iraq last year was rising again, despite the U.S. crackdown. U.S. military officials have said the number of bodies found blindfolded, shot and usually with signs of torture is an effective indicator of the intensity of the violence between Sunnis and Shiites. In February, when the crackdown began, the number was 640, down from 1,079 the month before, according to an Associated Press count. In the first 24 days of May, the number was 855, which would work out to more than 1,100 if the pace of killing continues at the current rate. Meanwhile, two U.S. soldiers were killed north of Baghdad, and a Marine died of non-combat causes in Anbar province, the military reported early Saturday. One of the soldiers was shot and killed in northern Baghdad province; the second died in a roadside bombing in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of the capital. All three service-members died on Friday. In reports on Friday, the military said three U.S. soldiers were killed in roadside bombings in the capital and the surrounding areas. Two others were killed in explosions north of Baghdad, and a sixth soldier was hit by gunfire in the volatile Diyala province, the military said. The reports raised the American death toll for the month to at least 91 through May 24. That average of nearly 3.8 deaths a day — if it continues — would work out to nearly 118 deaths for the month, the most since 137 soldiers were killed in November 2004, when U.S. troops were fighting insurgents in Fallujah. ___

State budget deal avoids cuts in school and medicaid funding

Detroit Free Press - www.freep.com - State budget deal averts cuts in school, Medicaid funding State budget deal averts cuts in school, Medicaid funding May 25, 2007 By CHRIS CHRISTOFF AND DAWSON BELL FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS LANSING – State lawmakers agreed tonight to erase most of an estimated $800-million deficit for this fiscal year and avert a pending $122-per-pupil cut in funds to public schools. The deal sets the stage for a showdown on a major income tax increase, possibly as early as next week, to address an even larger deficit in 2008 and beyond. Republicans had insisted on no tax increase to balance this fiscal year’s budget, which expires Sept. 30. Democrats have insisted that a tax increase is necessary to prevent cuts now and in the future in education, public safety and health care.The deal is believed to be linked to a vote on an income tax increase for the 2008 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Details of what form that tax might take were not immediately known.Liz Boyd, Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s spokesperson, said the agreement upholds the administration’s commitment to protect education and health care from cuts.“It was a good night for public schools and health care,” Boyd said. “There’s still much work to be done.”House Speaker Andy Dillon echoed Boyd’s sentiments on protecting education and health care. He declined to confirm that a vote on a tax increase was part of the agreement or was imminent.Friday’s agreement followedday-long talks among House Speaker Andy Dillon, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and Lt. Gov. John Cherry, who represented Gov. Jennifer Granholm.House Democrats, in a rare gesture, invited Republicans into their private caucus to discuss the agreement.The deficit reduction deal reached tonight also eliminated the planned 6% reduction in Medicaid payments to physicians, hospitals and nursing homes.Other highlights:• It delays payment of $97 million to universities until after Oct. 1 and $12.9 million to community colleges.• It uses $168 million from restricted funds, including $35 million in a convention facilities fund and $30 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund.• A $3.6-million cut to the Department of History, Arts and Libraries and $6.5 million from the Legislature’s own budget.About $200 million of the deficit would be left until next week, when the Legislature returns from the holiday weekend.The threat of a Saturday session in the Capitol weighed heavily in both chambers, where members milled around for hours as their leaders met privately to work out details.Al Short, a veteran lobbyist for the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said: “We’re very much appreciative of the agreement to provide full funding for 2007…since we’re down to less than 40 days” left before schools must close their financial books.But Short said he and others interested in school funding are leery about 2008 because the decision to close out the books for this year without a tax increase will make it more difficult for schools to fully fund education next year.

The liberal mecca NBC reports McCain attack of Dems no vote but leave out McCain past no vote

NBC's Reid reported McCain's blast of Dems for "no" vote on troop funding, but not McCain's prior "no" vote http://mediamatters.org/items/200705250006 On the May 25 edition of MSNBC Live, NBC News congressional correspondent Chip Reid uncritically read a statement from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacking Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for their May 24 votes against a war funding bill that did not include a binding timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In the statement, McCain said he was "disappointed to see" Obama and Clinton "embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." McCain continued: "This vote may win favor with MoveOn[.org] and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to Al Qaeda." Yet Reid did not mention that McCain himself has recently voted, in McCain's words, "against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." On March 29, McCain voted against a war spending bill that funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 51-47 and was then merged with a similar House version. Bush ultimately vetoed it on May 2, citing the inclusion of a withdrawal timetable. A May 25 Associated Press article by Liz Sidoti also uncritically quoted McCain's statement attacking Obama and Clinton. Moreover, Sidoti added that with their votes against the most recent war funding bill, Obama and Clinton "opened themselves up to criticism from Republicans that they were denying 165,000 troops the resources they need -- an argument that could be damaging in a general election." However, the article ignored that Obama and Clinton did vote to give the troops "the resources they need" when they supported the earlier war funding bill that Bush vetoed. From the 10 a.m. ET hour of the May 25 edition of MSNBC Live: CHRIS JANSING (host): So the antiwar activists aren't going to have their complaints, but I'm guessing the Republicans certainly will. REID: Oh, absolutely, Chris. In fact, within the last hour, we've gotten a couple of emails from John McCain and [former Massachusetts governor] Mitt Romney. Just listen to this. I think we have full screens we can look at here. Here's McCain: "I was very disappointed to see Senator Obama and Senator Clinton embrace the policy of surrender by voting against funds to support our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. "This vote may win favor with MoveOn and liberal primary voters, but it's the equivalent of waving a white flag to Al Qaeda."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Goodling admits her partisan hirings were "illegal"

Think Progress » Goodling Admits Her Partisan Hirings Were ‘Illegal’ Goodlng Admits Her Partisan Hirings Were ‘Illegal’ In her opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee today, Monica Goodling — the Justice Department’s former White House Liason — admitted that she had “taken inappropriate political considerations into account” while hiring career employees at the Department. Later during the hearing, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) asked Goodling whether she believed her actions had broken the law. Goodling initially tried to dodge the question, saying “that’s not a conclusion for me to make.” Scott followed up: “Do you believe that they were illegal?” Goodling again tried to squirm her way out of a straight answer, “I don’t believe I intended to commit a crime.” But Scott continued to push for a real answer, listing the various types of laws that may have been broken. He again asked Goodling, “Were there any laws that you could have broken by taking political considerations into account, quote, on some occasions?” Goodling eventually relented, admitting, “I crossed the line of the civil service rules.” Scott clarified, “Rules? Laws. You crossed the law on civil service laws. You crossed the line on civil service laws, is that right?” She said, “I believe I crossed the lines. But I didn’t mean to.” Watch it: video link Transcript: SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Goodling, as you just heard, I was introduced as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime. The criminal justice system cannot function if the public does not trust the system to be fair. We expect judges and prosecutors to strictly follow the rule of law. We expect witnesses in criminal cases, in all phases of criminal cases, to tell the truth. We expect juries to be fair and impartial. And this won’t work if there are partisan political considerations becoming more important than fair and impartial decisions. Unfortunately, there have been credible allegations that attorneys have been hired because of their partisan views rather than their legal backgrounds, that the culture of loyalty to the administration was more important than loyalty to the rule of law, and pressure and even firing of U.S. attorneys for failing to pursue partisan political agendas rather than the rule of law. These allegations are serious because, if true, they can clearly undermine the confidence the public will have in the criminal justice system. It’s been hard for us to get to the bottom of it because, when we ask simply questions, you’ve accused others of not telling the truth under oath. You in fact yourself pleaded the Fifth. So it’s been hard to get to the bottom of it. But let me just ask a couple of questions. In your testimony, you indicate that you have — quote, may have taken inappropriate political considerations into account on some occasions. Do you believe that those political considerations were not just inappropriate, but in fact illegal? GOODLING: That’s not a conclusion for me to make. I know I was acting… SCOTT: (inaudible) Do you believe that they were legal or illegal for you to take those political considerations in mind? Not whether they were legal or illegal, what do you believe? Do you believe that they were illegal? GOODLING: I don’t believe I intended to commit a crime. SCOTT: Did you break the law? Was it against the law to take those political considerations into account? You’ve got civil service laws. You’ve got obstruction of justice. Were there any laws that you could have broken by taking political considerations into account, quote, on some occasions ? GOODLING: The best I can say is that I know I took political considerations into account on some occasions. SCOTT: Was that legal? GOODLING: Sir, I’m not able to answer that question. I know I crossed the line. SCOTT: What line — legal? GOODLING: I crossed the line of the civil service rules. SCOTT: Rules? Laws. You crossed the law on civil service laws. You crossed the line on civil service laws, is that right? GOODLING: I believe I crossed the lines. But I didn’t mean to. I mean, I… SCOTT: OK.

76% say war going badly

Note: if you want to see the polls go to the link: http://www.rawstory.com/showoutarticle.php?src=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/24/opinion/polls/main2846638.shtml CBS Poll: 76% Say War's Going Badly Record Number In Survey Say Getting Involved In Iraq Was Mistake (CBS) As President Bush and Congress hammer out an Iraq war funding bill, a CBS News/New York Times poll shows the number of Americans who say the war is going badly has reached a new high, rising 10 percent this month to 76 percent. Nearly half of all Americans (47 percent) say the war is going very badly, while just 20 percent say the recent U.S. troop increase is making a positive difference. Even a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, now say the war is going at least somewhat badly – a 16-point increase from the middle of April. Nine in 10 Democrats and eight in 10 Independents agree. Although Congress has backed down from attaching a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal to the war funding bill, six in 10 Americans would like one. The public also favors setting benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet as a condition for future funding of the war – something that Congress will include in the pending legislation. The poll also finds a record number of Americans say getting involved in Iraq in the first place was a mistake. Only 35 percent say the U.S. did the right thing by invading Iraq, while 61 percent say the U.S. should have stayed out. In addition, the poll finds Americans are more pessimistic than ever about the overall direction in which the United States is headed. Seventy-two percent, the highest number since the CBS/NYT poll started asking the question in 1983, say the country is on the wrong track, while 24 percent say it's headed in the right direction.President Bush's job approval rating in the poll is now at 30 percent, two points above its January low. Sixty-three percent of Americans disapprove of the president's job performance. Congress fares only a little better, with an approval rating of 36 percent, and disapproval of 52 percent.

Ron Paul giving cross dressing Rudy summer reading

The Raw Story Paul campaign hopes 'Reading for Rudy' will 'educate' Giuliani Paul campaign hopes 'Reading for Rudy' will 'educate' Giuliani Ron Brynaert Published: Thursday May 24, 2007 Even though former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani earned hearty rounds of applause at the last GOP presidential debate after he lashed out at fellow Republican candidate Ron Paul over comments he had made regarding the CIA term "blowback," the Texas congressman isn't backing down. "Longshot Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul(R-one of the few honest Republicans) on Thursday gave front-runner Rudy Giuliani a list of foreign-policy books to back up his contention that attacks by Islamic militants are fueled by the U.S. presence in the Middle East," Andy Sullivan reports for Reuters. "'I'm giving Mr. Giuliani a reading assignment,' the nine-term Texas congressman said as he stood behind a stack of books that included the report by the commission that examined the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001." In a press release obtained by RAW STORY, Paul's campaign chairman Kent Snyer says, "I hope Rudy Giuliani reads these books from top foreign policy experts. We have also included some Cliffs Notes in case Mr. Giuliani is too busy giving $100,000 speeches on national security." At the May 15 debate, Paul said, "I'm suggesting we listen to the people who attacked us [on Sept. 11] and the reason they did it, and they're delighted" that US troops are in Iraq because they provide easy targets for terrorists. Paul was responding to a question about the origins of terrorist attacks on US soil and noted the generations-long history of US involvement in Middle East politics, including a CIA-sponsored coup to overthrow Iran's leader in 1953 and regular bombing missions in Iraq over the decade before 9/11. "I don't think I've heard that before," Giuliani said, "and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11." Paul said he was referring to what the CIA calls "blowback," in mentioning the hostility American involvement might forment in foreign cultures. "They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free," Paul said. "They attack us because we're over there." Last week, a CNN contributor wrote in an opinion piece that Paul's assertion in that week's Republican presidential debate that American foreign policy in the Middle East invited the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 should not be dismissed, lest Americans continue to ignore the lessons of history. "As Americans, we believe in forgiving and forgetting, and are terrible at understanding how history affects us today," wrote Roland S. Martin, who also hosts a talk show in Chicago. "We are arrogant in not recognizing that when we benefit, someone else may suffer. That will lead to resentment and anger, and if suppressed, will boil over one day." Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that an upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report states that the Bush administration was warned before the invasion that a US presence in Iraq would actually increase terrorist influence. "Officials familiar with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also say analysts warned against U.S. domination in the region, which could increase extremist recruiting," the AP reported. "The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report's declassification is not finished. It could be made public as soon as this week." The "Reading for Rudy" list includes Chalmers Johnson's Blowback, Robert A. Pape's Dying to Win, and Michael Scheuer's Imperial Hubris, along with the 9-11 Commission Report. Paul's press release contained the following "Cliff Notes" for Giuliani: # "His [bin Laden] rhetoric selectively draws from multiple sources -- Islam, history, and the region's political and economic malaise. He also stresses grievances against the United States widely shared in the Muslim world. He inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War..." -- 9/11 Commission Report, pages 48-49 "There are a lot of things that are different now [after the invasion of Iraq], and one that has gone by almost unnoticed -- but it's huge -- is that by complete mutual agreement between the US and the Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It's been a huge recruiting device for al-Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so- called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things." -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Vanity Fair, May 2003 "One of the greatest dangers for Americans in deciding how to confront the Islamist threat lies in continuing to believe -- at the urging of senior U.S. leaders -- that Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than for what we do. The Islamic world is not so offended by our democratic system of politics, guarantees of personal rights and civil liberties, and separation of church and state that it is willing to wage war against overwhelming odds in order to stop Americans from voting, speaking freely, and praying, or not, as they wish." -- Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 8 "We assume, moreover, that bin Laden and the Islamists hate us for our liberty, freedoms, and democracy -- not because they and many millions of Muslims believe U.S. foreign policy is an attack on Islam or because the U.S. military now has a ten-year record of smashing people and things in the Islamic world." -- Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 165 "The U.S. invasion of Iraq is Osama bin Laden's gift from America, one he has long and ardently desired, but never realistically expected." -- Michael Scheuer, Imperial Hubris, page 213 "Although suicide terrorism is virtually always a response to foreign occupation, only some occupations lead to this result. Suicide terrorism is most likely when the occupying power's religion differs from the religion of the occupied, for three reasons. A conflict across a religious divide increases fears that the enemy will seek to transform the occupied society; makes demonization, and therefore killing, of enemy civilians easier; and makes it easier to use one's own religion to relabel suicides that would otherwise be taboo as martyrdom instead." -- Robert A. Pape, Dying to Win, page 22 "An attempt to transform Muslim societies through regime change is likely to dramatically increase the threat we face. The root cause of suicide terrorism is foreign occupation and the threat that foreign military presence poses to the local community's way of life. ... Even if our intentions are good, anti-American terrorism would likely grow, and grow rapidly." -- Robert A. Pape, Dying to Win, page 245 "The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001 did not 'attack America,' as political leaders and news media in the United States have tried to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy. Employing the strategy of the weak, they killed innocent bystanders, whose innocence is, of course, no different from that of the civilians killed by American bombs in Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere." -- Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, page XV "The term 'blowback,' which officials of the Central Intelligence Agency first invented for their own internal use, is starting to circulate among students of international relations. It refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign acts of 'terrorists' or 'drug lords' or 'rogue states' or 'illegal arms merchants' often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations." -- Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, page 8 # Other than exploiting 9.11 for his personal wealth can anyone explain to me what does Rudy have to qualify him to become president?

Rosie vs the Human Talking point on the View

TV News - Co-Hosts React to Latest 'View' Feud - AOL News Co-Hosts React to Latest 'View' Feud O'Donnell, Hasselbeck Each Respond to Clash AP NEW YORK (May 24) -- Watching Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck(R-cute liar) squabble on ABC's "The View" is nothing new, but Wednesday's dustup seemed particularly nasty with the co-hosts trading accusations and personal digs. A political discussion over the war in Iraq became heated when an angry O'Donnell decried Hasselbeck for not standing up for her when media outlets suggested that she'd called U.S. troops "terrorists" during a previous debate."What you did was not defend me. ... I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying - you said nothing, and that's cowardly," O'Donnell said.Responded a stern Hasselbeck: "Do not call me a coward, because No. 1, I sit here every single day, open my heart and tell people what I believe."O'Donnell and Hasselbeck were shown on a split screen as the argument progressed without commercial interruption."Do you believe that I think our troops are terrorists? And you would not even look me in the face, Elisabeth, and say, `No, Rosie,"' O'Donnell said.Responded Hasselbeck: "Because you are an adult, and I am certainly not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts! Defend your own insinuations!"O'Donnell, who is leaving the ABC daytime talk show next month, said she wasn't going to fight anymore. "So for three weeks, you can say all the Republican crap you want."Hasselbeck discussed the war of words in an interview with syndicated entertainment show "Extra" that was to air Wednesday evening."I honestly think, I believe that we are mature women who can resolve," she said. "I hope we can. I would hope that a disagreement or a heated debate wouldn't be the end of a relationship."In a posting on her blog, O'Donnell wrote: "a split screen, new heights, or lows, depending on who u ask." personal take: I managed to catch this flare up the other day for myself, Hasselbeck display your typical female right wing defense mode change the subject of how much a failure George W. Bush is and whine that you're getting attack personally. It's getting hard out there for the 28%ers to defend George Bush so they lash out when you press them on why their defense for a man who has done nothing to better America is so strong. These people wanted Bill Clinton head when they caught him lying about oral sex and they would gotten away with it too if many of them wasn't worried about their dirty laundry aired out but with Bush he ignored warnings about 9.11 they go that's ok, let oil companies rob the treasury no biggie, lied this country into war which has lead to the deaths of over 3000 troops they go well Clinton said the same thing about Saddam and weapons. I remember MTV show a clip of the other co host Joy asking Hasslebeck why does she still defends this man, Lizzy Hasslebeck knows deep down the only reason she's sill defending the boob in the White House is because George W. Bush has an R after his name and since she's a good little right wing Republican cheerleader that's all she needs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Media call Edwards speaking fees whopping but ignored Rudy the cross dresser fee

Media Matters - SF Chronicle called Edwards' speech fee "whopping" but ignored Giuliani's much larger fees SF Chronicle called Edwards' speech fee "whopping" but ignored Giuliani's much larger fees Summary: In a May 21 entry to the San Francisco Chronicle's Politics Blog, Chronicle political reporter Carla Marinucci wrote, "Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who recently proposed an educational policy that urged 'every financial barrier' be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show." According to Marinucci, Edwards "charged a whopping $55,000 to speak to a crowd of 1,787 [at] the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006," before Edwards declared his intention to seek the presidency. However, Marinucci made no mention of Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly charged Oklahoma State University $100,000 for a speech he delivered in 2006 and an additional $47,000 for the use of a private jet. According to Marinucci's post on the Chronicle Politics Blog: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who recently proposed an educational policy that urged "every financial barrier" be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show. The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus' Mondavi Center confirmed Monday. That amount -- which comes to about $31 a person in the audience -- included Edwards' travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records. The earnings -- though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate -- could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate -- who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina -- chose to speak on "Poverty, the great moral issue facing America," as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis. However, as Media Matters for America noted, Giuliani's speaking fees are considerably higher, and he charged a state school far more than Edwards did. The Chicago Tribune reported on February 7: Since he left office, Giuliani has leveraged his image as "America's mayor" to his decided financial advantage and in ways that belie his man-of-the-people persona. He commands $100,000 for a speech, not including expenses, which his star-struck clients are happily willing to pay. In one speech last year at Oklahoma State University, Giuliani requested and received travel on a private Gulfstream jet that cost the school $47,000 to operate. His visit essentially wiped out the student speakers annual fund. Like other high-priced speakers in the private sector, Giuliani routinely travels in style. Besides the Gulfstream, which is a standard perk on the big-time speakers circuit, his contract calls for up to five hotel rooms for his entourage, including his own two-bedroom suite with a preferred balcony view and king-size bed, in the event of an overnight stay. The Oklahoma contract also required a sedan and an SUV, restrictions on news coverage and control over whom Giuliani would meet, how he would be photographed and what questions he might be asked. According to Salon.com, Giuliani has earned $9.2 million in speaking fees since 2006. The Chronicle blog post was flagged by Internet gossip Matt Drudge and was also highlighted in the May 22 edition of ABC News' political newsletter, "The Note," which claimed that "Edwards can't shake free of this do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do narrative."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dems to back down on timeline?

The Raw Story Democrats step back from timeline on Iraq withdrawals Democrats step back from timeline on Iraq withdrawals Published: Monday May 21, 2007 Democrats were Monday poised to drop their insistence on including troop withdrawal timelines in an Iraq war funding bill, in a move which could for now, defuse a standoff with President George W. Bush. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate were still hammering out details of the final bill with Bush aides on Monday, which they plan to send to the president this week after a weeks-long showdown over control of the war. Several congressional sources reported privately that timelines, fiercely resisted by Bush, and the cause of his veto of a previous 124 billion dollar funding bill, would likely not be included. However the bill, intended to finance the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until the end of September, would include some kinds of benchmarks to force Bush to report on the Iraqi government's progress on security and political issues, sources said. "We have moved the ball forward," said another source, a Democratic staffer, on condition of anonymity. "Whatever bill the president is going to sign is going to contain some kind of benchmarks." Once the bill is passed, Democratic strategists will concentrate on frustrating Bush's war plans in several defense funding bills expected to come before the Senate and the House of Representatives in the next few months. September is also looming as another key point of confrontation, as General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, is due to report on the progress of Bush's strategy to add 28,000 troops to US forces in the country.

Rejecting reality in Iraq

The Consortiumnews.com consortiumnews.com Rejecting Reality in Iraq By Robert Parry May 18, 2007 The well-regarded British research organization, Chatham House, has published a new report with the seemingly unobjectionable title “Accepting Realities in Iraq.” But it is that difficulty – facing up to what is real – that has been at the heart of this political and military catastrophe. From the beginning, George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers have put ideology and wishful thinking ahead of rationality and realism. This tendency explains why so many pieces of evidence cited to support the Iraq invasion have proven false and why so many claims of progress have proven overly optimistic. There always was a cockiness among Bush and his Republican allies that they could bend American perceptions of reality by putting out their message aggressively and shouting down any dissenting voices. Given the potent right-wing news media – and the timid and complicit mainstream press – the neocon strategy of flooding the process with alarming pseudo-information worked wonders in 2002, convincing many Americans that there was a desperate need to invade Iraq. During that run-up to war, very few people were willing to risk their careers by challenging the Bush administration’s narrative on Iraq. Those who did – from former weapons inspector Scott Ritter to the Dixie Chicks – were punished. “Respectable” Washington political circles, including key Democrats and leading journalists, largely sided with Bush. It turned out, however, that Bush’s power to impose his will on adversaries faded the farther away he got from the booming voices of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. So, while right-wing bombast attacking Iraq War critics as “traitors” and “surrender monkeys” kept most politicians and pundits in line in the United States, the threatening language had less impact on the ground in Iraq. Indeed, today’s intractable crisis in the Middle East is arguably more dangerous because of the divergence between the harsh realities in Iraq and the more pleasing false reality that has been cultivated in Washington. In particular, Bush’s Republican “base” continues to believe that the war in Iraq is going well, that the “surge” is bringing America closer to victory and that the biggest problem is that “liberal bias” in the news media is obscuring all the President’s successes. At the first two debates of Republican presidential candidates, the loudest applause went to tough talk about the “war on terror,” including the need to torture suspects and to expand the Guantanamo Bay prison complex. Even the mildest, most indirect criticism of Bush’s policies was met by stony silence. It’s as if a substantial part of the U.S. population has joined a Jonestown-like cult, willfully cutting itself off from the real world and accepting the truth handed down by the cult leader, in this case the President of the United States. For years at Consortiumnews.com – indeed since our founding in 1995 – we have warned that an emerging false narrative of recent American history represented a danger to the United States as a constitutional Republic. Regarding Iraq, our stories in 2002-03 observed how White House wishful thinking was sure to get many good people killed. [See, for instance, “Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down.”] Stubborn Refusal Possibly Bush’s biggest mistake in Iraq – besides his initial decision to invade – has been his stubborn refusal to adjust U.S. policy to Iraq’s worsening reality. He has always looked for glimmers of sunlight and berated experts who pointed toward the darkening storm clouds. So, instead of avoiding the war in the first place or finding a relatively quick exit, Bush kept placing his false hope in the ambitious plans of the neocons who saw Iraq as the first step in throttling Muslim governments viewed as impediments to U.S. regional power projection or as threats to Israel. Back home, the Iraq War and the “war on terror” also proved useful as political devices to convince many Americans that they had no choice but to surrender their civil liberties to Bush and the neocons in exchange for supposed protection from “terrorists.” Although more and more Americans have come to see through these arguments, a large portion of the U.S. public – the Republican “base” – still buys into the neocon worldview. As this chasm grows between the real world and their faux reality, the Bush cult seems to have set up permanent residence in what might be called an ideological Jonestown. In that context, the Chatham House report, entitled “Accepting Realities in Iraq,” marks a direct challenge to Bush’s Iraqi dreamscape. The report amounts to an update to the December 2006 findings of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which concluded that conditions in Iraq were “grave and deteriorating.” Six months ago, the Iraq Study Group recommended a policy reversal – a U.S. troop drawdown combined with more training of Iraqi forces and more regional diplomacy – but an angry Bush countered by ordering a “surge” or escalation of U.S. military forces, to about 160,000 troops from 140,000. In its May 2007 report, Chatham House asserts that a fundamental weakness in Bush’s Iraq strategy has been the failure of the United States and its allies to appreciate the severity of the political and security problems in Iraq. “This analytical failing has led to the pursuit of strategies that suit ideal depictions of how Iraq should look, but are often unrepresentative of the current situation,” the report said, arguing for strategies that at least recognize the underlying realities. The report said those realities include: “the social fabric of Iraq has been torn apart” with the country facing multiple civil wars and multiple insurgencies; the U.S.-backed national government cannot exert control over large sections of the country; any security plan would have to last “many years,” not just months; and al-Qaeda has succeeded in establishing itself in major Iraqi cities, including Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul – now possibly strong enough to withstand challenges from rival insurgent groups. “While the Bush administration is still clinging to the hope that the situation in Iraq can be turned around, the tasks that lie ahead do not inspire great optimism,” the report said. “The legacy of four years of instability may present insurmountable obstacles to any process of promoting meaningful political inclusion. Iraqi society has now been transformed by violence.” Whatever hope exists for some Iraqi reconciliation, Chatham House said, would depend on flexibility in Washington and London to deal with sectarian and other local leaders who have some credibility with parts of the population, such as radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, a harsh critic of the U.S. occupation. “In pursuing such a strategy, military force in the form of surges cannot deliver the critical political accommodation,” the report said, adding that: “Iraqi solutions will need to be found to Iraqi problems. … Devising U.S. or regional solutions according to the players’ own interests, and imposing them upon Iraq, has been tried and has only served to destabilize the situation further.” But the first American step toward a realistic approach on Iraq may be as difficult as finding common ground among the Iraqi factions: How does George W. Bush break it to the Republican “base” that he’s been deceiving them all these years and that major diplomatic concessions are required? Doesn’t it make more sense, in a twisted sort of way, for Bush to just string out the war until January 2009 and then have his followers blame the new President for losing Iraq? Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bush met with Dobson and other leaders to rally support for Iran policy

Bush met with Dobson and conservative Christian leaders to rally support for Iran policy source:Max Blumenthal President George W. Bush met privately with Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson and approximately a dozen Christian right leaders last week to rally support for his policies on Iraq, Iran and the so-called "war on terror."“I was invited to go to Washington DC to meet with President Bush in the White House along with 12 or 13 other leaders of the pro-family movement," Dobson disclosed on his radio program Monday. “And the topic of the discussion that day was Iraq, Iran and international terrorism. And we were together for 90 minutes and it was very enlightening and in some ways disturbing too."Details of the meeting were disclosed by Dobson during Monday's edition of his Focus on the Family radio program.Dobson described Bush as “upbeat and determined and convinced,” adding, “I wish the American people could have sat in on that meeting we had.”Read more: http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Bush_meets_with_Dobson_Ch... Side take: Um I have an crazy question, I hope no one minds me asking what the hell is James Dobson and other leaders of the foaming at the mouth Christian right doing discussing Iran? These dudes aren't know for the expertise in Iran or its culture.

Frank Rich: Earth to GOP... The Gipper is Dead

Rozius Unbound: Frank Rich: Earth to GOP ...The Gipper Is Dead Frank Rich, The New York Times, May 13, 2007 Of course you didn’t watch the first Republican presidential debate on MSNBC. Even the party’s most loyal base didn’t abandon Fox News, where Bill O’Reilly, interviewing the already overexposed George Tenet, drew far more viewers. Yet the few telling video scraps that entered the 24/7 mediasphere did turn the event into an instant “Saturday Night Live” parody without “SNL” having to lift a finger. The row of 10 middle-aged white candidates, David Letterman said, looked like “guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club.”Since then, panicked Republicans have been either blaming the “Let’s Make a Deal” debate format or praying for salvation-by-celebrity in the form of another middle-aged white guy who might enter the race, Fred Thompson. They don’t seem to get that there is not another major brand in the country — not Wal-Mart, not G.E., not even Denny’s nowadays — that would try to sell a mass product with such a demographically homogeneous sales force. And that’s only half the problem. The other half is that the Republicans don’t have a product to sell. Aside from tax cuts and a wall on the Mexican border, the only issue that energized the presidential contenders was Ronald Reagan. The debate’s most animated moments by far came as they clamored to lip-sync his “optimism,” his “morning in America,” his “shining city on the hill” and even, in a bizarre John McCain moment out of a Chucky movie, his grin.The candidates mentioned Reagan’s name 19 times, the current White House occupant’s once. Much as the Republicans hope that the Gipper can still be a panacea for all their political ills, so they want to believe that if only President Bush would just go away and take his rock-bottom approval rating and equally unpopular war with him, all of their problems would be solved. But it could be argued that the Iraq fiasco, disastrous to American interests as it is, actually masks the magnitude of the destruction this presidency has visited both on the country in general and the G.O.P. in particular.By my rough, conservative calculation — feel free to add — there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. I am not counting State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned last month in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, now being investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. I will, however, toss in a figure that reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance: no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves under investigation simultaneously — an all-time record.Wrongdoing of this magnitude does not happen by accident, but it is not necessarily instigated by a Watergate-style criminal conspiracy. When corruption is this pervasive, it can also be a byproduct of a governing philosophy. That’s the case here. That Bush-Rove style of governance, the common denominator of all the administration scandals, is the Frankenstein creature that stalks the G.O.P. as it faces 2008. It has become the Republican brand and will remain so, even after this president goes, until courageous Republicans disown it and eradicate it.It’s not the philosophy Mr. Bush campaigned on. Remember the candidate who billed himself as a “different kind of Republican” and a “compassionate conservative”? Karl Rove wanted to build a lasting Republican majority by emulating the tactics of the 1896 candidate, William McKinley, whose victory ushered in G.O.P. dominance that would last until the New Deal some 35 years later. The Rove plan was to add to the party’s base, much as McKinley had at the dawn of the industrial era, by attracting new un-Republican-like demographic groups, including Hispanics and African-Americans. Hence, No Child Left Behind, an education program pitched particularly to urban Americans, and a 2000 nominating convention that starred break dancers, gospel singers, Colin Powell and, as an M.C., the only black Republican member of Congress, J. C. Watts.As always, the salesmanship was brilliant. One smitten liberal columnist imagined in 1999 that Mr. Bush could redefine his party: “If compassion and inclusion are his talismans, education his centerpiece and national unity his promise, we may say a final, welcome goodbye to the wedge issues that have divided Americans by race, ethnicity and religious conviction.” Or not. As Matthew Dowd, the disaffected Bush pollster, concluded this spring, the uniter he had so eagerly helped elect turned out to be “not the person” he thought, but instead a divider who wanted to appeal to the “51 percent of the people” who would ensure his hold on power.But it isn’t just the divisive Bush-Rove partisanship that led to scandal. The corruption grew out of the White House’s insistence that partisanship — the maintenance of that 51 percent — dictate every governmental action no matter what the effect on the common good. And so the first M.B.A. president ignored every rule of sound management. Loyal ideologues or flunkies were put in crucial positions regardless of their ethics or competence. Government business was outsourced to campaign contributors regardless of their ethics or competence. Even orthodox Republican fiscal prudence was tossed aside so Congressional allies could be bought off with bridges to nowhere.This was true way before many, let alone Matthew Dowd, were willing to see it. It was true before the Iraq war. In retrospect, the first unimpeachable evidence of the White House’s modus operandi was reported by the journalist Ron Suskind, for Esquire, at the end of 2002. Mr. Suskind interviewed an illustrious Bush appointee, the University of Pennsylvania political scientist John DiIulio, who had run the administration’s compassionate-conservative flagship, the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Bemoaning an unprecedented “lack of a policy apparatus” in the White House, Mr. DiIulio said: “What you’ve got is everything — and I mean everything — being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.”His words have been borne out repeatedly: by the unqualified political hacks and well-connected no-bid contractors who sabotaged the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq; the politicization of science at the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency; the outsourcing of veterans’ care to a crony company at Walter Reed; and the purge of independent United States attorneys at Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department. But even more pertinent, perhaps, to the Republican future is how the Mayberry Machiavellis alienated the precise groups that Mr. Bush had promised to add to his party’s base.By installing a political hack, his 2000 campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh, at the top of FEMA, the president foreordained the hiring of Brownie and the disastrous response to Katrina. At the Education Department, the signature No Child Left Behind program, Reading First, is turning out to be a cesspool of contracting conflicts of interest. It’s also at that department that Bush loyalists stood passively by while the student-loan industry scandal exploded; at its center is Nelnet, the single largest corporate campaign contributor to the 2006 G.O.P. Congressional campaign committee. Back at Mr. Gonzales’s operation, where revelations of politicization and cover-ups mount daily, it turns out that no black lawyers have been hired in the nearly all-white criminal section of the civil rights division since 2003.The sole piece of compassionate conservatism that Mr. Bush has tried not to sacrifice to political expedience — nondraconian immigration reform — is also on the ropes, done in by a wave of xenophobia that he has failed to combat. Just how knee-jerk this strain has become could be seen in the MSNBC debate when Chris Matthews asked the candidates if they would consider a constitutional amendment to allow presidential runs by naturalized citizens like their party’s star governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger (an American since 1983), and its national chairman, Senator Mel Martinez of Florida. Seven out of 10 said no.We’ve certainly come a long way from that 2000 Philadelphia convention, with its dream of forging an inclusive, long-lasting G.O.P. majority. Instead of break dancers and a black Republican congressman (there are none now), we’ve had YouTube classics like Mr. Rove’s impersonation of a rapper at a Washington journalists’ banquet and George Allen’s “macaca” meltdown. Simultaneously, the once-reliable evangelical base is starting to drift as some of its leaders join the battle against global warming and others recognize that they’ve been played for fools on “family values” by the G.O.P. establishment that covered up for Mark Foley.Meanwhile, most of the pressing matters that the public cares passionately about — Iraq, health care, the environment and energy independence — belong for now to the Democrats. Though that party’s first debate wasn’t exactly an intellectual feast either, actual issues were engaged by presidential hopefuls representing a cross section of American demographics. You don’t see Democratic candidates changing the subject to J.F.K. and F.D.R. They are free to start wrestling with the future while the men inheriting the Bush-Rove brand of Republicanism are reduced to harking back to a morning in America on which the sun set in 1989. Side take: Am I missing something? Thanks to Bush, Reagan been bump to the second worst president this country ever had. The dude help armed 2/3 of what Bush called the axis of evil, almost drain the life out of the middle class yet people forget that when he does that dumb smile and that aw shucks routine. If anything Reagan era policies are alive and well today the people serving in the smirk's white house worked for Reagan, and the idea of giving tax breaks to the rich in the hopes they put that money back in the economy isn't something Junior Bush thought up by himself... Reagan used that pipe dream during the 80s and almost ruined the middle class so the GOP using Reagan image to boost their chances with the American middle class is a joke.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

MCL's dumbest CONservative comment of the day

Q: "George Bush doesn't hate black people?"A: "Bill Clinton had a black secretary. George W. Bush has a black Secretary of State. I rest my case." Angela McGlowan(R- no name black right wing pundit) Yeah Angie forgot about that little thing that happen in 2000 and 2004 when the Republicans were targeting black voters, or the fact that Bush dragged his feet sending aid to Katrina. Then again black conservatives aren't that hard to please all you guys really need is a pat on the head and a that's good girl or boy from your white conservative counterparts. Angela McGlowan, author of Bamboozled (WARNING TONS AND TONS OF RIGHT WING horse shit so have your trash can handy) Sidebar: Before I get the fake out rage comments from the conservatives out there calling me an racist or or whatever I have a few things to say one I'm black so I guess I eliminated half the conservatives that would call me racist time to eliminated the other conservatives that would suggest I can't stand any other black that voice an opinion supporting the conservative point of view. I don't have a problem with Angela McGlowan, Amy Holmes, Armstrong Williams, Larry Elders, J.C. Watts and Alan Keyes being tools of the right I just find it funny they support a ideology that stresses the importance of no social change and keeping the status quo which means if conservatism had its way in the 1960s these people wouldn't be doing what they're doing now Larry, J.C., Armstrong and Alan would be doing jobs that would probably pay them less than four dollars a hour(remember conservatives believe your employer has the right to pay you whatever he damn well please) as for the black female conservatives I could image what they would have in store for you, house maid, a prolong baby sitter or being the boss other lady "friend"or whatever but you would make far less money compare to what the black male would make because not only you're black you're a woman too.

Media Lap dogs don't dig deep

Greg Palast » Print » Media Lap Dogs Don’t Dig Deep A changed news culture has let several important investigative stories slip through the cracks. By Greg PalastApril 27, 2007 IN AN E-MAIL uncovered and released by the House Judiciary Committee last month, Tim Griffin, [2] once Karl Rove’s right-hand man, gloated that “no [U.S.] national press picked up” a BBC Television story reporting that the Rove team had developed an elaborate scheme to challenge the votes of thousands of African Americans in the 2004 election. Griffin wasn’t exactly right. The Los Angeles Times did run a follow-up article a few days later in which it reported the findings. But he was essentially right. Most of the major U.S. newspapers and the vast majority of television news programs ignored the story even though it came at a critical moment just weeks before the election. According to Griffin (who has since been dispatched to Arkansas to replace one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department), the mainstream media rejected the story because it was wrong. “That guy is a British reporter who accepted some false allegations and made a story up,” he said. Let’s get one fact straight, Mr. Griffin. “That guy” is not a British reporter. I am an American living abroad, putting investigative reports on the air from London for the British Broadcasting Corp. I’m not going to argue with Rove’s minions about the validity of our reporting, which led the news in Britain. But I can tell you this: To the extent that it was ignored in the United States, it wasn’t because the report was false. It was because it was complicated and murky and because it required a lot of time and reporting to get to the bottom of it. In fact, not one U.S. newsperson even bothered to ask me or the BBC for the data and research we had painstakingly done in our effort to demonstrate the existence of the scheme. The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country. Because investigative reporting — the kind Jack Anderson used to do regularly and which was carried in hundreds of papers across the country, the kind of muckraking, data-intensive work that takes time and money and ruffles feathers — is dying. I’ve been through this before, too many times. Take this investigative report, also buried in the U.S.: Back in December 2000, I received two computer disks from the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Analysis of the data, plus documents that fell my way, indicated that Harris’ office had purged thousands of African Americans from Florida’s voter rolls as “felons.” Florida now admits that many of these voters were not in fact felons. Nevertheless, the blacklisting helped cost Al Gore the White House. I reported on the phony felon purge in Britain’s Guardian and Observer and on the BBC while Gore was still in the race, while the count was still on. Yet the story of the Florida purge never appeared in the U.S. daily papers or on television. Until months later, that is, after the Supreme Court had decided the election, when it was picked up by the Washington Post and others. U.S. papers delayed the story until the U.S. Civil Rights Commission issued a report saying our Guardian/BBC story was correct: Innocents lost their vote. At that point, protected by the official imprimatur, American editors felt it safe enough to venture out with the story. But by then, George W. Bush could read it from his chair in the Oval Office. Again and again, I see this pattern repeated. Until there is some official investigation or allegation made by a politician, there is no story. Or sometimes the media like to cover the controversy, not the substance, preferring an ambiguous and unsatisfying “he said, she said” report. Safe reporting, but not investigative. I know some of the reasons why investigative reporting is on the decline. To begin with, investigations take time and money. A producer from “60 Minutes,” watching my team’s work on another voter purge list, said: “My God! You’d have to make hundreds of calls to make this case.” In America’s cash-short, instant-deadline world, there’s not much room for that. Are there still aggressive, talented investigative reporters in the U.S.? There are hundreds. I’ll mention two: Seymour Hersh, formerly of the New York Times, and Robert Parry, formerly of the Associated Press, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal. The operative word here is “formerly.” Parry tells me that he can no longer do this kind of investigative work within the confines of a U.S. daily newsroom. One of the biggest disincentives to doing investigative journalism is that it jeopardizes future access to politicians and corporate elite. During the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby trial, the testimony of Judith Miller and other U.S. journalists about the confidences they were willing to keep in order to maintain access seemed to me sadly illuminating. Expose the critters and the door is slammed. That’s not a price many American journalists are willing to pay. It’s different in Britain. After the 2000 election, when Harris’ lawyer refused to respond to our evidence, my BBC producer made sure I chased him down the hall waving the damning documents. That’s one sure way to end “access.” Reporters in Britain must adhere to extraordinarily strict standards of accuracy because there is no Bill of Rights, no “freedom of the press” to provide cover against lawsuits. Further, the British government fines reporters who make false accusations and jails others who reveal “official secrets.” I’ve long argued that Britain needs a 1st Amendment right to press freedom. It could, of course, borrow ours. We don’t use it.

Hillary states what we already knew: Bush govern for the few

Clinton says Bush governs 'for the few' - Yahoo! News Clinton says Bush governs 'for the few' By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized President Bush on Saturday as running a "government of the few, for the few and by the few." "For six long years the hardworking families of our middle class have been invisible to this president," she said, promising to be a president who again sets goals for the country. Democrats attending the Ohio state party's annual dinner gave a rousing cheer when the senator from New York asked, "Are you ready to end the war in Iraq and restore America's reputation around the world?" Only two Democrats since 1900 have won the presidency without carrying Ohio and no Republican has done so. The state clinched re-election for Bush in 2004, but Democrats have new optimism that they can win the state that Clinton's husband, Bill, carried twice. Democrats captured the Ohio governor's seat for the first time in 16 years last November and, in a backlash attributed in part to a state government investment scandal, seized three other statewide offices long held by Republicans. The $150-per-plate dinner drew about 3,000 people and generated $550,000 after expenses for the party, the most money the dinner has ever raised, said Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman. Clinton, leading the Democratic field for president in national and Ohio polls, promised universal health care and said she would make college more affordable. She also said she would be more aggressive in developing alternative sources of energy and that her administration would hire more qualified people for government jobs. Clinton came to Ohio from South Carolina where she gave the commencement address at historically black Claflin University earlier on Saturday. She spoke of making college more affordable and gave a nod to Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), her Senate colleague and Democratic primary opponent, while drawing on the university's 1960s-era demonstrations. "Think about the students from this university who braved tear gas and water hoses and beatings and bullets to protest the injustice of segregation and usher in a new era of equality and never lived to see the day of an African-American man running for president," Clinton told the crowd of around 4,000 at the college. She said the class of 320 graduating students represented a minority who are able to afford and complete the college degrees they began pursuing. "But what I'm finding is that so many students and their hardworking parents and families are balking at the cost of higher education," Clinton said. "When they see the price tag their hearts sink." With fewer than half of the nation's students completing the degrees their start, government must play a larger role, Clinton said. "We need to begin by making college more affordable and accessible," she said. "I think we need to take on the student loan industry and send a clear message they will be held accountable for the way they treat and mistreat students and families." She is pushing a "student borrower bill of rights" that sets payments as a percentage of income and keeps fees and interest rates reasonable. "I don't believe that you should be subjected to bait-and-switch programs where they tell you what it's going to be and then they change it on you," she said.

The Oxycotin had to be talkin..

Media Matters - Limbaugh's knee-jerk response to "Fort Dix Six": "[C]ould it be" Clinton's fault? Limbaugh's knee-jerk response to "Fort Dix Six": "[C]ould it be" Clinton's fault? Summary: On the May 9 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, discussing the alleged conspiracy to attack Fort Dix, N.J., Rush Limbaugh baselessly speculated that the 1998-1999 resettlement program for Kosovar refugees from the Balkans could have brought several of the alleged conspirators to the United States: "The Clinton administration may have brought these people -- we don't know if five of the six were in part of this group, but oh, man!" In fact, only one of the six individuals involved in the alleged Fort Dix plot was reportedly part of the Kosovo refugee program. Limbaugh has yet to acknowledge that his speculation was wrong. One of the suspects, Agron Abdullahu, who did come to the United States through the Kosovo refugee program, has been arraigned on the lesser charge of "aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons." The three other individuals of Albanian descent who were arrested in the case -- Dritan, Shain, and Eljvir Duka -- are brothers, described in a May 10 Washington Post article as "living in America illegally, having entered two decades ago on now-expired visas." Of the other two men indicted in the alleged Fort Dix plot, Serdar Tartar is a legal resident alien who was born in Turkey, and Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer is an American citizen who was born in Jordan. In addition, a May 9 Washington Post article reported that "Fort Dix, which has about 14,000 soldiers, sheltered more than 4,000 ethnic Albanian refugees during the NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo in 1999. But [U.S. Attorney Christopher J.] Christie said the Dukas are believed to have entered the United States before that conflict and were not among the refugees held at Fort Dix. One U.S. law enforcement official said the brothers may have entered the country legally but overstayed visas or violated other immigration requirements." Reacting to the news that some of the suspects were ethnic Albanians, Limbaugh cited a May 18, 1999, CNN article about the establishment of an Internet-based resource to help Kosovar refugees find family members could have been a "communications network" for the suspects, and said, "My God, folks, could it be that the Clinton administration ... [b]rought them to our shores, set up the communications network?" Limbaugh added, "Just asking. The story doesn't say this." But later in the show, he was characterizing his speculation as "breaking news that you will not hear anywhere else." Limbaugh said, "These are very serious questions, and [there] could be serious charges that flow from these questions." Limbaugh continued to baselessly suggest a link between the Clinton administration and the Fort Dix plot, stating: "Don't forget what this is all about. This is about the Fort Dix Six and how they -- the Clintons set all this up. The Clintons set up the refugee camp at Fort Dix and the refugees were so happy they named it 'the Village' after her book." On his May 10 broadcast, Limbaugh continued to suggest that the Clintons were responsible for the alleged Fort Dix plot, stating "how the white Al Qaeda groups from the Kosovo area have infiltrated the -- infiltrated, hell, they were brought here by the Clinton administration in huge numbers back in 1999." From the May 9 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show: LIMBAUGH: Get -- let's read this together. Am I going to like this? "The -- the sounds of Islamic calls to prayer echo across Fort Dix, temporary host to thousands of ethnic Albanians who fled war-ravaged Kosovo. So far, 500 Kosovars have been relocate" -- Wait a second. Does that mean Clinton brought these people here? After we saved them, does that mean that Bill Clinton -- the Clinton administration brought these people here? Is that what this means? You gotta be -- must be true, folks, because this is CNN. Well, we got a caller wants to talk about this in just a second. [...] LIMBAUGH: Yeah, well, here's -- we've looked it up for you in advance of your call, and this is a CNN story from June 6th of 1999. That's almost eight years ago. Now, June 6th of 1999, do you know who was president, just to get this established? CALLER: Do I? Yes, I -- I remember. LIMBAUGH: Well, give me the name -- CALLER: The name was Bill Clinton. LIMBAUGH: Bill Clinton was the president, right, in 1999 -- CALLER: Yeah. LIMBAUGH: -- and here's the story. This is by Deborah Fira -- or Feyerick of CNN. "The sounds of Islamic calls to prayer echo across Fort Dix, the temporary host to thousands of ethnic Albanians who fled war-ravaged Kosovo. But the U.S. Army base will soon play final taps for the refugee resettlement program. It should end this month. 'I feel like I'm in paradise,' one Kosovar explained as she described the base that's been a haven for about 4,000 refugees. So far, about 500 Kosovars have been relocated. About 100 are scheduled to leave daily. All the refugees should know by mid-June where they will be going. 'We have a lot of work to do here, move refugees out to various communities,' " said Donna Shalala, who was in charge of Health and Human Services. "The United States has pledged to take in 20,000 Kosovo refugees throughout the summer" -- this would be of 1999. "The others will go directly to sponsoring agencies or to live with relatives. Officially given refugee status, they can receive green cards" - hey, didn't some of these guys have -- two of them had green cards. Oh, what a great country we are. So two of the Fort Dix Six had green cards." Officially given refugee status, they can receive green cards to work in the U.S. and apply for citizenship in one year. 'They'll be able to stay in the U.S. and become citizens if they want to. If they wish to go home, we will pay their way home,' " said Donna Shalala. So, [caller], brilliant thinking out there, buddy. CALLER: Might -- might be coincidental but this -- LIMBAUGH: [chuckles] [Caller] -- CALLER: -- seems like -- LIMBAUGH: -- there are no coincidences with the Clintons. CALLER: [chuckles] LIMBAUGH: Just trust me on this. [chuckles] There are no coincidences with the Clintons. So 20,000 of them were brought in -- CALLER: Yes. LIMBAUGH: -- after -- after the Kosovo war, so, yeah it is -- it is an interesting plot thickener to -- to say the least. I had forgotten that. I'm not sure if I even knew it. But he reminded us. [...] LIMBAUGH: Talent on loan from God. I am Rush Limbaugh with half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair. Let's go back even prior to June 6th of 1999. Again, on CNN, a June 6th, 1999, story, "Fort Dix Speeds Up Relocation of Kosovo Refugees." Let's go back to May 18th of 1999, just a little short of a month prior. "First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Tuesday an additional $15 million dollars in U.S. relief to the displaced people of Kosovo. The money will help non-government and United Nations groups care for refugees in the border regions of Macedonia and Albania, and will also help pay to resettle as many as 20,000 ethnic Albanians who may choose to live with friends and relatives in the United States." [laughing] Golly, folks, it's worse - it's worse than I thought. The Clinton administration may have brought these people -- we don't know if five of the six were in part of this group, but oh, man! Mrs. -- the first lady announced this? "The first lady spoke at a briefing she held to describe her recent trip to a camp in Macedonia. She said the refugees, mostly women and children, described the slaughter of adult men, as armed Serbs pushed Kosovars from their homes. 'These heartbreaking stories of families separated, of girls raped, of men executed, of homes destroyed, must be told and retold and never forgotten,' Mrs. Clinton said. The first lady said 'nothing makes the case more powerfully for why the United States and our NATO allies are pursing their mission in Kosovo, and why we cannot give up until the evils perpetrated by [then-Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic and his regime have been stopped and the refugees return home in peace and safety.' Mrs. Clinton also announced" -- May 18, 1999 -- "Mrs. Clinton also announced the establishment of an Internet-based information resource" -- [chuckles] folks, you will not believe this. "Mrs. Clinton also announced the establishment of an Internet-based information resource to help the Kosovo refugees find their loved ones. The computer system will be based at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the military base now serving as a processing center for Kosovars coming to the United States. The website will feature a people locator, as well as news and information in Albanian. It will include links with similar computer resources in Macedonia, Albania and elsewhere in Europe." My God, folks, could it be that the Clinton administration set up the communications network for this? Brought them to our shores, set up the communications network? Just asking. The story doesn't say this. These stories are almost eight years old, folks, but may I read this to you again? Just this one passage: "Mrs. Clinton also announced the establishment of an Internet-based information resource to help the Kosovo refugees find loved ones. The computer system will be based at Fort Dix, New Jersey, military base now serving as a processing center for Kosovars coming to the United States." That is Fort Dix, New Jersey. These are very serious questions, and could be serious charges that flow from these questions -- very, very serious -- ladies and gentlemen, we are concerned here. This is not -- this is upsetting. [...] LIMBAUGH: But -- but very unsettling. I, I read these two CNN stories, my friends, I must, I must admit -- you may be able to hear it in my voice -- I am concerned. This is deeply troubling to read that the Clinton Administration actually imported this number and set up computer -- Internet networks for them to -- stay in contact with, with one another. Deeply troubling. Important questions. Need answers. [...] LIMBAUGH: Look, the import of all this is that there is a terrorism expert in the Balkans claiming that a new "white Al-Qaeda" is operating here that has been trained and planted here from the Balkans and from Kosovo, and they are here to exact this kind of damage. The Fort Dix Six were apprehended before they could get moving on it, but the Salt Lake City mall shooter who killed six or killed four or whatever was part of the group, is what this expert in the Balkans is saying. Now, let's see, where is this from? Tell you what, let me take a break. I don't want to read something that I don't know what it's from. Oh, it's a military website, quartermaster.army.mil. So it's a military website. "A 1996 book by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton titled 'It Takes A Village' became part of a theme for designing the refugee processing center" at Fort Dix for these Kosovar refugees. The first lady's book centered on rekindling a society that totally sustains and supports its families and individuals, especially its children. It was a 530th soldier who had read the First Lady's book and recommended naming the processing center's physical location 'the Village' rather than a 'camp' or a 'compound.' " Well, holy cow! Holy cow! So the refugee location, the camp, the compound was renamed "the Village," in honor of Hillary Rodham -- can you imagine what Clinton Inc. is doing right now with this news out there? We've got two CNN stories that we've already shared with you. We've got this Yugoslav website talking about "white Al Qaeda," and it all ties back to the Clinton administration bringing 20,000 Kosovar refugees into the country in 1999. You have a Balkans terrorism expert saying that the Salt Lake City mall shooting and the attempted shootings at Fort Dix, that plan, are all related to a new "white Al Qaeda." And as first lady, Mrs. Clinton wrote columns about this, "the Village." Mr. Snerdley has just printed them out now. She wrote columns. That's right. She did have a column. I remember that now. Mrs. Clinton had a column, and so she wrote about this. We'll get those in due course. "The refugee population in the Village at Fort Dix experienced a complete life cycle from beginning to" -- anyway, I gotta take a break here, but you get the point here. We brought the refugees in from Kosovo without prior screening. We didn't screen them for disease or criminal background checks. We did that after they got here. We deferred them. Then they got here and they were so pleased to be here and so happy, that they named their compound "the Village," after Mrs. Clinton's book -- and, of course, you remember, the Clinton administration (Clinton impression), "I never worked harder on anything in my life, fighting terrorism, it was -- I got up, I worked, I thought about it, I even thought about it in the study with Monica. I thought about terrorism. We worked hard as we -- Richard Clarke and me. I talked to him about it." (whistling.) Can you imagine The Spin Room at Clinton Inc. and what it is doing right now, folks? [...] LIMBAUGH: They hated Milosevic. Where's this attitude in Iraq from Mrs. Bill Clinton? Don't forget what this is all about. This is about the Fort Dix Six and how they -- the Clintons set all this up. The Clintons set up the refugee camp at Fort Dix and the refugees were so happy they named it the Village after her book. [...] LIMBAUGH: We had breaking news today, breaking news that you will not hear anywhere else, and that is the involvement of the Clinton administration in establishing these refugee camps called "the Village," at Fort Dix and the existence of a "white Al Qaeda," as reported by a Balkans terrorist expert. We'll see. I can just imagine the feverish, feverish activity at Clinton Inc. in the war room going on right now, how to spin this. "We gotta send Sandy Burglar [sic] to purloin some documents. We got to straighten this out before Limbaugh takes it too far down the road." From the May 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show: LIMBAUGH: And of course, as we pointed out yesterday, it's not the membership in a group that matters, it's the ideology that they carry forward -- and we did a yeoman's job yesterday of providing information to you about how the white Al Qaeda groups from the Kosovo area have infiltrated the -- infiltrated, hell, they were brought here by the Clinton administration in huge numbers back in 1999.