Make sure you hang on until the end for a surprise.
[Have a great weekend everyone. My full-time blog-time here at The Reaction has come to an end. Michael will be back soon to clean up the mess I have made of the place. And please stop by State of the Day anytime to get your fix of half-assed, yet whole-hearted, blogging fun. ]
Anyone who still believes that the Bush White House doesn’t play politics with fear should watch a report by Keith Olbermann, anchor of the MSNBC news show Countdown, in which he succinctly lays out 10 cases where the Republican administration used terror alerts--bogus or bona fide, it’s hard to know anymore--to shift public and press attention away from scandals, congressional criticism, or other news that was deemed to be damaging to the White House. “Ten separate incidents,” remarks TruthOut contributor Larry Johnson, “where the Bush administration issued public warnings of imminent attacks that subsequently turned out to be non-existent or misleading. George Bush is the boy who cried Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, Wolf ... and no end is in sight.”
You can watch the full 12.5-minute TV segment here.
The optimistic president better take another magic ride on his optimistic carpet because the mood in the White House is starting to seem anything but optimistic. Read on, it's about Iraq, and it's about the president's last ditch rhetorical effort to keep the people of the United States on the GOP side of the not so optimistic fence.
Of all the words that President Bush used at his news conference this week to defend his policies in Iraq, the one that did not pass his lips was "progress." [...]
The shifting rhetoric reflected a broader pessimism that has reached into even some of the most optimistic corners of the administration -- a sense that the Iraq venture has taken a dark turn and will not be resolved anytime soon. Bush advisers once believed that if they met certain benchmarks, such as building a constitutional democracy and training a new Iraqi army, the war would be won. Now they believe they have more or less met those goals, yet the war rages on.
Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States. [...]
The criticisms reflect the views of some officials inside the White House and the Pentagon who advocated going to war with Iraq and now are pressing for confronting Iran directly over its nuclear program and ties to terrorism, say officials with knowledge of the debate.
These angry voices are no doubt led by the vice president and his neo-con henchmen. With the drumbeat having already begun, soon it will be time for their patented cherrypicking and fixing of intelligence around a set of predetermined conclusions.
The NYT has more, and remember every time "some" official is cited insert the name Cheney and things become clear.
More Rep. Peter King fodder in aid of Fixer's quest to take this man's seat away. King makes it too easy. Here he is commenting on a article regarding the lack of diversity on Capital Hill:
King said race and ethnicity aren't a factor in his hiring decisions, but that, as a conservative Republican, diversifying his staff "would probably make me look good to show that I have someone on staff that doesn't fit the stereotype."
Mr. King, it's not about what looks good it's about doing good. The image over substance, over competence, GOP, strikes again.
Maybe Bush would we prefer we poll them over there so he doesn't have to read poll numbers like this over here:
Americans increasingly see the war in Iraq as distinct from the fight against terrorism, and nearly half believe President Bush has focused too much on Iraq to the exclusion of other threats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The finding that 51 percent of those surveyed see no link between the war in Iraq and the broader antiterror effort was a jump of 10 percentage points since June. It came despite the regular insistence of Mr. Bush and Congressional Republicans that the two are intertwined and should be seen as complementary elements of an overall strategy to prevent domestic terror attacks.
The Bushies have been unable to blame the violence in Iraq on al Qaeda as convincingly as they had before the killing of al-Zarqawi. They killed their bogeyman. They killed their creation. They killed their central go-to terror guy. I'm sure someone in the White House is kicking themselves for not using the Osama theory on Zarqawi. That is, keep you terror figurehead alive so a finger can be pointed and their actions justified.
That being said, it's amazing that that number is still only 51 percent.
U.S. News, and every blog on the face of the earth, is reporting that the president of the United States "can't get enough of fart jokes" and "he's also known to cut a few for laughs. " So in my quest to outblog the best of the bloggers, I Googled "farting," and lo and behold, I found this:
These guys are either brilliant, or really, really fast out of the gate. Go see for yourself and have fun with the flatulence.
Bush has put out a quiet feeler to replace Rumsfeld in recent weeks. He was politely turned down by at least one candidate he personally called. Unknown: is this one of many candidates Bush has sounded out? Is there a Bernacke-style search going on quietly in the background?
This sounds very plausible to me. If the October surprise turns out to be Rumsfeld's head it will be spun as accountability, but, of course, we know it's all about the politics. The GOP needs some political cover heading into November and Bush needs to, at a minimum, appear to be listening to his critics. This is a win-win for for Bush and the GOP. For Cheney, however, not so much. If you see Rumsfeld go then we know the balance-of-power has finally shifted out of the vice presidents office and into the White House.
For decades, many scientists have theorized that the universe is made up of nearly undetectable mysterious substances called dark matter and dark energy. But until yesterday there was no proof that the subatomic matter actually exists.
After studying data from a long-ago collision of two giant clusters of galaxies, researchers now say they are certain dark matter does exist and plays a central role in creating and defining gravity throughout the universe.
More ridiculousness and absurdity from the administration that has set a new standard for ridiculousness and absurdity. This latest silliness is brought to us by the Washington Post:
The Bush administration has begun designating as secret some information that the government long provided even to its enemy the former Soviet Union: the numbers of strategic weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. [...]
"It would be difficult to find more dramatic examples of unjustifiable secrecy than these decisions to classify the numbers of U.S. strategic weapons," wrote William Burr, a senior analyst at the archive who compiled the report. [...]
"Is that now going to be reclassified?" asked Norris [senior research associate at the Natural Resources Defense Council]. "I would say that the horse is out of the barn and they are only making themselves look ridiculous. At someone's direction, declassification reviewers have gotten carried away and are applying the rather vague and open-ended guidelines to the point of absurdity."
So much for a free and open society.
Read more, because in a few weeks the Bush administration may classify the article from which this came.
"We will defeat the terrorists and expand freedom across the world, we'll protect the American homeland and work tirelessly to prevent attacks on our country," he said. "The terrorists remain determined to destroy innocent life on a massive scale, and we must be equally determined to stop them."
I could have sworn I have heard this rhetoric before. Bill, Ted, fire up the phone booth because we're going on a most excellent, if not depressing, rhetorical adventure.
The president speaks to Congress soon after that horrible, horrible day. Sept. 20, 2001:
Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.
Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.
A year later the president continues his tireless, freedom-loving ways. Jan 29, 2002:
Steadfast in our purpose, we now press on. We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. And in this great conflict, my fellow Americans, we will see freedom's victory.
One more year forward and we find the mission accomplished, yet somehow the war rages on. May 1, 2003:
The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland and we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike.
The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.
It's not over yet, but that's okay, our will is strong. Jan. 20, 2004:
As democracy takes hold in Iraq, the enemies of freedom will do all in their power to spread violence and fear. They are trying to shake the will of our country and our friends, but the United States of America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins.
Almost done, one year forward. You would figure after four years freedom's march would be done already, no? March 8, 2005:
This objective will not be achieved easily, or all at once, or primarily by force of arms. We know that freedom, by definition, must be chosen, and that the democratic institutions of other nations will not look like our own. Yet we also know that our security increasingly depends on the hope and progress of other nations now simmering in despair and resentment. And that hope and progress is found only in the advance of freedom.
Freedom, freedom, freedom. It will not be achieved easily. We will not be intimidated. They will not shake us. Freedom's enemies are not idle. We are steadfast. We will press on. We will not tire.
I'll give the president this much: five years on, he certainly is consistent. Wrong, but consistent. We have tired. We have tired of the broken-record-rhetoric.
THE results are in for the White House’s latest effort to exploit terrorism for political gain: the era of Americans’ fearing fear itself is over. [...]
It’s not as if the White House didn’t pull out all the stops to milk the terror plot to further its politics of fear. One self-congratulatory presidential photo op was held at the National Counterterrorism Center, a dead ringer for the set in “24.” But Mr. Bush’s Jack Bauer is no more persuasive than his Tom Cruise of “Top Gun.” By crying wolf about terrorism way too often, usually when a distraction is needed from bad news in Iraq, he and his administration have long since become comedy fodder, and not just on “The Daily Show.” June’s scenario was particularly choice: as Baghdad imploded, Alberto Gonzales breathlessly unmasked a Miami terror cell plotting a “full ground war” and the destruction of the Sears Tower, even though the alleged cell had no concrete plans, no contacts with terrorist networks and no equipment, including boots. [...]
As the election campaign quickens, genuine nightmares may well usurp the last gasps of Rovian fear-based politics. It’s hard to ignore the tragic reality that American troops are caught in the cross-fire of a sectarian bloodbath escalating daily, that botched American policy has strengthened Iran and Hezbollah and undermined Israel, and that our Department of Homeland Security is as ill-equipped now to prevent explosives (liquid or otherwise) in cargo as it was on 9/11. For those who’ve presided over this debacle and must face the voters in November, this is far scarier stuff than a foiled terrorist cell, nasty bloggers and Ned Lamont combined.
Frank Rich also throws out this interesting little number: "[O]nly 9 percent in the CBS poll felt that our involvement in Iraq was helping decrease terrorism." 9%, talk about dead-enders.
For all you wonderful Reaction readers, Truth in Comics is a regular Sunday feature over at my home base, State of the Day. It's what a like to call blogfiller. It's my way of keeping you amused without any actual thought, effort, or originality on my part. It is Sunday after all and even Creatures must rest. Enjoy!
Oh, and, if you all are kinda sick of seeing just me up here, Michael is taking a few days of R & R and will be popping in once in a while to make sure you guys are behaving. So you better not act up while I'm subbing or I'll have to call the Stickings to keep you in line.
Now, I want to know how my simple one-line Sunday post got so damn long. You know, maybe it's time to shake this place up a bit more. I'm thinking this: