Yes, there are two Americas’ Virginia, they exist as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. One tolerant and broadminded, the other intolerant and narrow-minded!
Sincerely, thinkingblue, from the TOLERANT AND BROADMINDED USA
PS: Joe (You Lie) Wilson, et al reside in the other America!
Two letters of interest in the March 3rd issue of...
Yikes. What a collection of haters in one place! John McCain seeks to distance himself from the ugly vitriol of James Dobson, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin et al. Yet I recall McCain's telling a truly offensive joke about Chelsea Clinton's looks, and responding to a supporter who asked in regard to Hillary, "How do we beat the bitch?" by calling that "an excellent question." So can he really claim the high moral ground here? The reality is that the Republican Party has made hating, dividing and promoting fear its hallmark during the Bush years, and it is naive to expect that it will change, whether it faces Hillary or Obama. The goal of this election must be to take hatred out of power. Jeff Ganeles Utica, N.Y.
McCain Response To A Minion's Question, Calling Hillary "The Bitch"
Readers would be mistaken in assuming that McCain is a moderate just because he isn't fascist enough for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. As mentioned, McCain is "the arch-hawk on Iraq." There is no good reason for invading Iraq, and with its disastrous consequences, serious doubts arise about McCain's judgment. A leader must learn from mistakes of the past. Michael Steely Medford, Ore.
Just when I've thought I had heard everything hateful that could possibly spew from one Bill O'Reilly's appalling brain cells via his stammering mouth. He comes out with the Daddy of all hate statements, utilizing the abhorring and hopefully archaic word "LYNCH". A categorically, 100% racist, discriminatory remark, in reference to a presidential candidate's wife. Make no mistake this careless comment did not just come out of nowhere. It clearly demonstrates the odious ideology of this small minded, judgmental man. The fact that the Fox network allows such hatemongering to go to the lengths of intense hostility towards another person, is beyond reason. Bill O'Reilly doesn't need the secretive white hooded uniform of his brethren group that we all know too well and do not need to mention. He can bare faced speak his intolerance and bigotry over the airwaves with the blessings of his "F" word network. Shame on you Bill O'Reilly, shame on you Fox News Network and shame on anyone who brings this man into their living rooms night after night! O'Reilly should not be allowed to make such discriminatory commentaries on our airwaves, to permit this is to say you are in agreement.
What is so amazing about the conservative's lack of empathy for those who suffer is... IT'S NOT COST EFFECTIVE! And they have the nerve to call themselves FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE... what a crock! These children grow up to be sick, dependent and since they also become unemployable, they turn to crime to maintain their lives. Crimes on those who turned their back on them when they could have been saved by low cost effective, social programs... What a joke! We need to pass around all the stories we can get on this... even though, those who could make a difference will just keep on a keeping their backs turned. (Maybe that is the way they handle problems... IF THEY CANT' SEE IT, IT DOESN'T EXIST!) IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS!!! thinkingblue
“Poverty in early childhood poisons the brain.” That was the opening of an article in Saturday’s Financial Times, summarizing research presented last week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
As the article explained, neuroscientists have found that “many children growing up in very poor families with low social status experience unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which impair their neural development.” The effect is to impair language development and memory — and hence the ability to escape poverty — for the rest of the child’s life.
So now we have another, even more compelling reason to be ashamed about America’s record of failing to fight poverty.
L. B. J. declared his “War on Poverty” 44 years ago. Contrary to cynical legend, there actually was a large reduction in poverty over the next few years, especially among children, who saw their poverty rate fall from 23 percent in 1963 to 14 percent in 1969.
But progress stalled thereafter: American politics shifted to the right, attention shifted from the suffering of the poor to the alleged abuses of welfare queens driving Cadillacs, and the fight against poverty was largely abandoned.
In 2006, 17.4 percent of children in America lived below the poverty line, substantially more than in 1969. And even this measure probably understates the true depth of many children’s misery.
Living in or near poverty has always been a form of exile, of being cut off from the larger society. But the distance between the poor and the rest of us is much greater than it was 40 years ago, because most American incomes have risen in real terms while the official poverty line has not. To be poor in America today, even more than in the past, is to be an outcast in your own country. And that, the neuroscientists tell us, is what poisons a child’s brain.
America’s failure to make progress in reducing poverty, especially among children, should provoke a lot of soul-searching. Unfortunately, what it often seems to provoke instead is great creativity in making excuses.
Some of these excuses take the form of assertions that America’s poor really aren’t all that poor — a claim that always has me wondering whether those making it watched any TV during Hurricane Katrina, or for that matter have ever looked around them while visiting a major American city.
Mainly, however, excuses for poverty involve the assertion that the United States is a land of opportunity, a place where people can start out poor, work hard and become rich.
But the fact of the matter is that Horatio Alger stories are rare, and stories of people trapped by their parents’ poverty are all too common. According to one recent estimate, American children born to parents in the bottom fourth of the income distribution have almost a 50 percent chance of staying there — and almost a two-thirds chance of remaining stuck if they’re black.
That’s not surprising. Growing up in poverty puts you at a disadvantage at every step.
I’d bracket those new studies on brain development in early childhood with a study from the National Center for Education Statistics, which tracked a group of students who were in eighth grade in 1988. The study found, roughly speaking, that in modern America parental status trumps ability: students who did very well on a standardized test but came from low-status families were slightly less likely to get through college than students who tested poorly but had well-off parents.
None of this is inevitable.
Poverty rates are much lower in most European countries than in the United States, mainly because of government programs that help the poor and unlucky.
And governments that set their minds to it can reduce poverty. In Britain, the Labor government that came into office in 1997 made reducing poverty a priority — and despite some setbacks, its program of income subsidies and other aid has achieved a great deal. Child poverty, in particular, has been cut in half by the measure that corresponds most closely to the U.S. definition.
At the moment it’s hard to imagine anything comparable happening in this country. To their credit — and to the credit of John Edwards, who goaded them into it — both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are proposing new initiatives against poverty. But their proposals are modest in scope and far from central to their campaigns.
I’m not blaming them for that; if a progressive wins this election, it will be by promising to ease the anxiety of the middle class rather than aiding the poor. And for a variety of reasons, health care, not poverty, should be the first priority of a Democratic administration.
But ultimately, let’s hope that the nation turns back to the task it abandoned — that of ending the poverty that still poisons so many American lives.
Visit target=_blank rel=nofollow>http://www.afsc.org/cost to tell Congress how you want your tax dollars spent. The Iraq war has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of U.S. military personnel. It is also costing $720 Million dollars each day - dollars that could be spent in much more constructive ways. It is time to DEFUND the war and RE-FUND human needs in the U.S. and Iraq. Get more details about our Cost of War campaign and sign our petition at target=_blank rel=nofollow>http://www.afsc.org/cost.
I came across this video while viewing my email, today. It is startling and that is putting it mildly. I don't know how William Kristol can go about his daily existence without shame. Many words come to mind when I think about this man... delusional, hallucinatory, mad, psychoneurotic, schizoid, schizophrenic. Whatever disorder best describes him; there is no doubt William Kristol is suffering from some sort of frontal lobe damage. What makes this so alarming and quite tragic, is the fact that he was allowed major input, if not the main collaborator, in one of America's worst disasters, The Iraq War. Only he, could come up with the think-tank PNAC.
In 1997, Kristol and Robert Kagan cofounded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Kristol is a member of the board of trustees for the think tank Manhattan Institute. Kristol is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the neoconservative think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center. Kristol has also been an attendee at Bilderberg Group conferences. From this site.
These "THINK TANKS" of the right-wing, neoconservative movement will give evidence, as to why, America has been so besmirched and our democracy so gutted. I hope beyond hope this will all end soon. Their time in the sun should cease, if America is to survive! Please watch the video below. Also below, is a transcript of the C-Span video. thanks, thinkingblue
Mr. Ellsberg and Mr. Kristol talked about the war with Iraq, protests against the war, the 1991 Gulf War, and related issues. They responded to audience telephone calls, faxes, and electronic mail.
Mr. Ellsberg is the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, published by Viking Press. Mr. Kristol is the co-author of The War over Iraq: Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission, published by Encounter Books.--------
What the New York Times Bought By Jonathan Schwarz Imagine that there were a Beatles record only a few people knew existed. And imagine you got the chance to listen to it, and as you did, your excitement grew, note by note. You realized it wasn't merely as good as Rubber Soul, or Revolver, or Sgt. Pepper's. It was much, much better. And now, imagine how badly you'd want to tell other Beatles fans all about it.
That's how I feel for my fellow William Kristol fans. You loved it when Bill said invading Iraq was going to have "terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East"? You have the original recording of him explaining the war would make us "respected around the world" and his classic statement that there's "almost no evidence" of Iraq experiencing Sunni-Shia conflict? Well, I've got something that will blow your mind!
I'm talking about Kristol's two-hour appearance on C-Span's Washington Journalon March 28, 2003, just nine days after the President launched his invasion of Iraq. No one remembers it today. You can't even fish it out of LexisNexis. It's not there. Yet it's a masterpiece, a double album of smarm, horrifying ignorance, and bald-faced deceit. While you've heard him play those instruments before, he never again reached such heights. It's a performance for the history books -- particularly that chapter about how the American Empire collapsed.
At the time Kristol was merely the son of prominent neoconservative Irving Kristol, former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle (aka "Quayle's brain"), the editor of Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard, and a frequent Fox News commentator. He hadn't yet added New York Times columnist to his resumé. Opposite Kristol on the segment was Daniel Ellsberg, famed for leaking the Pentagon Papers in the Vietnam era. Their discussion jumped back and forth across 40 years of U.S.-Iraqi relations, and is easiest to understand if rearranged chronologically.
So, sit back, relax, and let me play a little of it for you.
To start with, Ellsberg made the reasonable point that Iraqis might not view the invading Americans as "liberators," since the U.S. had been instrumental in Saddam Hussein's rise to power: Here's how he put it: CLICK HERE OR VIEW BELOW
"ELLSBERG: People in Iraq... perceive Hussein as a dictator... But as a dictator the Americans chose for them.
"KRISTOL: That's just not true. We've had mistakes in our Iraq policy. It's just ludicrous -- we didn't choose Hussein. We didn't put him in power.
"ELLSBERG: In 1963, when there was a brief uprising of the Ba'ath, we supplied specifically Saddam with lists, as we did in Indonesia, lists of people to be eliminated. And since he's a murderous thug, but at that time our murderous thug, he eliminated them...
"KRISTOL: [surprised] Is that right?...
"ELLSBERG: The same thing went on in '68. He was our thug, just as [Panamanian dictator Manuel] Noriega, and lots of other people who were on the leash until they got off the leash and then we eliminated them. Like [Vietnamese president] Ngo Dinh Diem."
Ellsberg here is referring to U.S. support for a 1963 coup involving the Ba'athist party, for which Saddam was already a prominent enforcer -- and then another coup in 1968 when the Ba'athists consolidated control, after which Saddam became the power behind the nominal president. According to one of the 1963 plotters, "We came to power on a CIA train." (Beyond providing lists of communists and leftists to be murdered, the U.S. also gave the new regime napalm to help them put down a Kurdish uprising we'd previously encouraged.) James Crichtfield, then head of the CIA in the Middle East, said, "We really had the t's crossed on what was happening" This turned out not to be quite right, since factional infighting among top Iraqis required the second plot five years later for which, explained key participant Abd al-Razzaq al-Nayyif, "you must [also] look to Washington."
Yet it appears clear on video that Kristol is genuinely startled by what Ellsberg was saying.
Consider the significance of this. Any ordinary citizen could easily have learned about the American role in those two coups -- former National Security Council staffer Roger Morris had written about it on the New York Times op-ed page just two weeks before the Kristol-Ellsberg broadcast. And Kristol was far more than an ordinary citizen. He'd been near the apex of government as Quayle's chief of staff during the first Gulf War in 1991. He'd been advocating the overthrow of the Saddam regime for years. He'd co-written an entire book, The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission, calling for an invasion of that country.
Nevertheless, Kristol was ignorant of basic, critical information about U.S.-Iraq history. Iraqis themselves were not. In a September 2003 article, a returning refugee explained the growing resistance to the occupation: "One of the popular sayings I repeatedly heard in Baghdad, describing the relations between the U.S. and Saddam's regime, is 'Rah el sani', ija el ussta' -- 'Gone is the apprentice, in comes the master.'"
What this suggests about the people running America is far worse than if they were simply malevolent super-geniuses: They don't know the backstory and couldn't care less. It's as though we're riding in the back seat of a car driven by people who demanded the wheel but aren't sure what the gas pedal does or what a stop sign actually looks like.
Moreover, when Ellsberg tells Kristol this information, he demonstrates no desire to learn more; nor, as best as can be discovered, has he ever mentioned it again. Really? Those colored lights mean something about whether I'm supposed to stop or go? Huh. Anyway, let's talk more about how all of you complaining in the back seat hate freedom.
Later, when the discussion gets closer to the present. Kristol's demeanor changes. He appears to be better informed and therefore shifts to straightforward lies:
"ELLSBERG: Why did we support Saddam as recently as when you were in the administration? And the answer is--
"KRISTOL: We didn't support Saddam when I was in the administration.
"ELLSBERG: When were you in the administration?
"KRISTOL: 89 to 93."
This is preposterously false. First of all, Kristol worked in the Reagan administration as Education Secretary William Bennett's chief of staff -- when the U.S. famously supported Saddam's war against Iran with loans, munitions, intelligence, and diplomatic protection for his use of chemical weapons. After George H.W. Bush was elected in 1988, Kristol moved to the same position in Vice President Quayle's office. During the transition, Bush's advisors examined the country's Iraq policy and wrote a memo explaining to the incoming President the choice he faced. In a nutshell, this was "to decide whether to treat Iraq as a distasteful dictatorship to be shunned when possible, or to recognize Iraq's present and potential power in the region and accord it relatively high priority. We strongly urge the latter view."
And Bush chose. Internal State Department guidelines from the period stated, "In no way should we associate ourselves with the 60 year-old Kurdish rebellion in Iraq or oppose Iraq's legitimate attempts to suppress it." (Saddam's gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja has occurred less than a year before.) Analysts warning of Iraq's burgeoning nuclear program were squelched. The Commerce Department loosened restrictions on dual-use WMD material, while Bush the elder approved new government lines of credit for Saddam over congressional objections.
And Saddam was receiving private money as well: most notably from the Atlanta branch of Italian bank BNL. BNL staff would later report that companies wanting to sell to Iraq were referred to them by Kristol's then-boss, Vice President Quayle. One Quayle family friend would end up constructing a refinery for Saddam to recycle Iraq's spent artillery shells. The Bush Justice Department prevented investigators from examining transactions like this, while Commerce Department employees were ordered to falsify export licenses.
As Kristol and Ellsberg discuss the buildup to the 1991 Gulf War, Kristol, of course, continues to fiddle with reality:
"KRISTOL: So you were against the liberation of Kuwait.
"ELLSBERG: No, on the contrary. At that time, a number of four star military people, former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were foursquare for containing Saddam, preventing him by military means from getting into Saudi Arabia... When it came to expelling him from Kuwait, they wanted to give the blockade and the embargo [more time], on the belief of people like Admiral Crowe that that would be preferable to the deaths that would be involved in trying to expel him militarily. We didn't test that theory.
"KRISTOL: The argument was not that the sanctions could get him out of Kuwait. The argument was that we could keep him out of Saudi Arabia. Who seriously thought he could be expelled from Kuwait by sanctions?
"ELLSBERG: Practically everyone who testified before Senator Nunn, who is no left-wing radical. And Senator Nunn himself. You've forgotten the history of that.
"KRISTOL: I remember the history vividly."
Ellsberg is correct, of course: On November 28, 1990, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral William Crowe testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee and its chairman Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). Crowe stated: "[W]e should give sanctions a fair chance... I personally believe they will bring [Saddam] to his knees" -- by which Crowe meant Iraq would be "pushed out of Kuwait." The same message was delivered by General David Jones, another former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman. The next day, the lede in a page one New York Times story was that Crowe and Jones had "urged the Bush Administration today to postpone military action against Iraq and to give economic sanctions a year or more to work."
It's not like Kristol could have missed all this, since the Bush administration immediately disputed such commentary -- and one of its point men for the push back was none other than Dan Quayle. An early December 1990 article about a Quayle speech reported: "[Quayle] specifically cited the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee" where "voices have argued that the Bush Administration should allow time for economic sanctions against Iraq to work, getting President Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait voluntarily rather than using force to dislodge him." (Unfortunately, there's no available reporting on whether Quayle's chief of staff wrote this speech for him.)
Then there's Kristol's curious explanation of his views on how the Gulf War ended -- that moment when George H.W. Bush called upon the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam and then, despite having smashed Saddam's army and controlling Iraq's air space, let the dictator's helicopter gunships take to the air and crush a Shiite uprising. There were even reports the administration forbade the Saudis from aiding the uprising and that U.S. troops blew up caches of Iraqi weapons rather than allow the rebels to use them.
Kristol, however, uses his courtier's skills to remake reality more pleasingly:
"KRISTOL: I was unhappy in 1991 when we stopped the war and left this brutal tyrant in power. I think we betrayed the people who rose up against Saddam, a genuine popular uprising. That was a big mistake on the part of the Bush administration. A political mistake and a moral mistake."
So that's clear: Kristol feels the decision was immoral. Or... was it?
"KRISTOL: I don't think these were simply immoral decisions by the president. These were judgment calls. There were reasons. There were arguments. There weren't simply --
"ELLSBERG: But they were immoral --
"KRISTOL: Well, no, that's not so easy to call a political decision an immoral decision."
That's fancy footwork for you! On the one hand, Kristol wants us to know that the decision was indeed "a moral mistake." The implication is that he should be respected in the post-invasion moment of 2003 as the sort of sensitive tough guy who would indeed invade Iraq to make up for past decisions that lacked morality. On the other hand, we're talking about a former Republican president and the present President's father. A straightforward declaration of "immorality," if pursued far enough, could easily hurt future employment prospects. Kristol has absolutely perfect pitch, managing to strike a blow for moral beauty in politics while maintaining career viability.
Ellsberg then asks questions aimed at just this issue:
"ELLSBERG: Did you consider doing more than disagree? Perhaps putting out the word of your dissent? Perhaps resigning with documents and revealing those to the press and the Congress?
"KRISTOL [scoffing]: I had no documents to put out. There were no secrets about the President's policy... We didn't want to occupy Baghdad. The rebellion would have failed anyway. We would have gotten in deeper."
Hmmm. No secrets about Bush the elder's policy. Yet there was something that most certainly was secret about the rebellions at the end of the Gulf War: Saddam was using chemical weapons to put down the Shiite uprising in the south. Rumored since 1991, this has been confirmed by the most impeccable source imaginable -- the CIA's final 2004 report on Iraq's WMD. According to the report, the Iraqi military used Sarin nerve agent, dropped from the helicopters the U.S. had given them permission to fly.
The CIA goes on to to suggest the U.S. government knew about this at the time, describing "reports of attacks in 1991 from refugees and Iraqi military deserters." And Gulf War veterans have said they passed such reports up the chain of command. Did Kristol know it then? Probably not. But even today there's no sign he knows: he and the Weekly Standard appear never to have mentioned it. As with the coups in 1963 and 1968, Kristol's ignorance is of a peculiarly convenient variety.
In any case, here's what Kristol did know: the Bush administration made the choices it did at war's end not because, as Kristol says, they felt "the rebellion would have failed." Their fear was exactly the opposite: that the rebellion would succeed. Yes, the Bush administration preferred Saddam gone, but it wanted him replaced by some other, more amenable group or leader from the Sunni military elite. It most certainly did not want a popular uprising that might leave a largely Shiite government in power in Baghdad, potentially close to Iran. Even worse was the possibility Iraq could fracture, with power shifting to the oil-rich Shiite south. As an administration official told Peter Galbraith, then a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, "[O]ur policy is to get rid of Saddam Hussein, not the regime." Later, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained that Washington was looking for "the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein."
Kristol's predictions that March day in 2003 are every bit as on target as his descriptions of the past. When Ellsberg raises the possibility of the new Iraq war coming to resemble Vietnam in some fashion, Kristol insists that this is utterly preposterous: "It's not going to happen. This is going to be a two-month war."
Here's the exchange when they turn to what will happen to Iraq's Kurds:
"ELLSBERG: The Kurds have every reason to believe they will be betrayed again by the United States, as so often in the past. The spectacle of our inviting Turks into this war... could not have been reassuring to the Kurds...
"KRISTOL: I'm against betraying the Kurds. Surely your point isn't that because we betrayed them in the past we should betray them this time?
"ELLSBERG: Not that we should, just that we will.
"KRISTOL: We will not. We will not."
This past December, we did. The Bush administration officially looked the other way while Turkey carried out a 50-plane bombing raid on Iraqi Kurdistan against the PKK, a Kurdish rebel group. Ken Silverstein of Harper's reprinted an email from a former U.S. official there that said, in part:
"The blowback here in Kurdistan is building against the U.S. government because of its help with the Turkish air strikes. The theme is shock and betrayal... The people killed and wounded were villagers, not PKK fighters or support people… The initial explanation from Washington that the United States did not authorize the Turkish strike is bullshit, and every Kurd here knows it."
No mention of the bombing has appeared in the Weekly Standard. It's fair to assume, however, that Kristol will eventually call America's actions there "a moral mistake," while emphasizing that "these were judgment calls. There were reasons. There were arguments."
Back in 2003, Kristol was also quite certain, almost touchingly so, that the Bush administration would be well served by relying on Iraqi exiles:
"KRISTOL: We have tens of thousands of Shia exiles [who] have come back to help contribute to the liberation of Iraq.
"ELLSBERG: I'm afraid the people who propose this war have failed one lesson of intelligence history, which is not to rely too much on the knowledge of people who have left the country... The people who've come to this country may very well underestimate the desire of those people not to be governed by foreigners." This lesson of history goes back a long way. Book II, Chapter XXXI of Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy is titled "How Dangerous It Is to Believe Exiles":
"It ought to be considered, therefore, how vain are the faith and promises of those who find themselves deprived of their country... such is the extreme desire in them to return home, that they naturally believe many things that are false and add many others by art, so that between those they believe and those they say they believe, they fill you with hope, so that relying on them you will incur expenses in vain, or you undertake an enterprise in which you ruin yourself... A Prince, therefore, ought to go slowly in undertaking an enterprise upon the representations of an exile, for most of the times he will be left either with shame or very grave injury."
The Weekly Standard's archives show Kristol has published quite a few articles on how political correctness in elite U.S. universities is strangling the teaching of the Western canon. And you can understand where he's coming from: While Kristol himself received a PhD in government from Harvard, it obviously was during a period when radical multiculturalists had completely expunged Machiavelli from the curriculum. When will the PC brigade ever learn? Teaching Toni Morrison starts wars.
Finally, there's the most telling moment of the entire two hours, when a caller asks Kristol something he does not at all expect:
"CALLER: I wonder how we reconcile these views with how we treat the American Indians?
"KRISTOL: [raising eyebrows, chuckling] Well, I think the American Indians are now full citizens of the United States of America. We have injustices in our past in treating the American Indians. I'm for equal rights for American Indians and for liberating the people of Iraq from this horrible tyranny."
Kristol obviously finds the caller's perspective ridiculous. But the man had, in fact, asked the most profound question possible.
After all, there is a deep cultural connection running from our conquest of the continent to the invasion of Iraq. While Americans have mostly forgotten this, the early settlers did not perceive themselves as simply pushing Indians out of the way. Rather, they came here with the very best of intentions. The 1629 seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is a picture of an American Indian, who is saying, "Come over and help us." Three hundred seventy-three years later in 2002, Ahmed Chalabi was being paid by the U.S. government to tell Americans to come over and "help the Iraqi people." In his book The Winning of the West, Teddy Roosevelt wrote that no nation "has ever treated the original savage owners of the soil with such generosity as has the United States." In 2004, Fred Barnes wrote (in the Weekly Standard) that the invasion of Iraq might be "the greatest act of benevolence one country has ever done for another."
Kristol finishes the C-Span show with a crescendo:
"The moral credentials of this war are strong. We'll see if we follow through. I agree with Mr. Ellsberg on this, if we're not serious about helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and about helping promote decent democratic government in Iraq... it will be a much less morally satisfying and fully defensible war... I'm happy to be held to a moral standard. I ask that it be a serious moral standard."
So, there you have it: a complex, rich experience to be savored by anyone who enjoys watching a master at the very peak of his craft.
Yet trying to encapsulate Kristol's now almost five year-old chilling performance by turning it into a bitter joke only takes us so far. After all, the joke is on us.
Kristol indeed has been held to a moral standard, but it's the moral standard of Rupert Murdoch and, more recently, the New York Times. What we learn from this dusty vinyl LP is that some of the most powerful men and institutions in our country are genuinely depraved. They provide Kristol with his prominence not in spite of performances like this one, but precisely because of them. Kristol is giving them just what they want. The fact that he's a propagandist straight out of Pravda's archives makes the same impression on them as the fact that John Lennon was a great songwriter might make on you or me.
Of course he is. That's why we bought the album.
Jonathan Schwarz is a frequent contributor to Mother Jones and co-author with Michael Gerber of Our Kampf, a collection of their humor from the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Saturday Night Live. His website is named after a saying of George Orwell's: "Every joke is a tiny revolution."
An exceptional "special comment" from Keith Olbermann on February 14, 2008. Watch this video and go to http://action.firedoglake.com/page/petition/RestoreFISA to sign a petition to tell Congress to, STAND FIRM and NOT in lockstep. Tell them Do Not let the Bush Administration bully you, once again, into decimating our democracy. Our freedom is at stake here, folks.
Tell House Members to Stand Firm Behind the RESTORE Act! The FISA bill passed by the Senate is a disgrace. By legalizing warrantless spying on Americans and granting retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, the Senate seeks to ensure that the Bush administration's illegal spying programs are never investigated or subjected to the rule of law. The Senate bill is a profound betrayal of the votes of millions of Americans who voted in 2006 to put Democrats in control of Congress in order to increase, not eliminate, checks and oversight on this administration, and to restore the rule of law to our country.
The House's RESTORE Act is an infinitely superior bill. It provides real safeguards on the President's spying powers while providing him with the surveillance powers he needs to protect the country.
The RESTORE Act continues that tradition, while the Senate bill eviscerates it.
Bush administration for ever-greater unchecked power,
It's been a long time since I've felt inspired by a presidential race. Not since JFK, and I was too young to vote for him. Like Kennedy I get a chill and teary eyed when Obama speaks. It's been a long time but it feels good. So to those who, still possess hope. Hope that our country can survive the disunion brought about by so many administrations. We've been blinded by insincere words and lies. The band-aid cures, diagnosed by those at the top who seem to think war is the answer to any problem. We now have a chance to put all this behind us. I hope we grasp this opportunity. We may not get another one! Barack Obama, knows he can't do this alone. He doesn't say, he's the decider so you can go shopping. He tells us, he needs our help because we are all the grown-ups in this problematic life. We all need to pitch in if we want to save our standing in this world. I think I'm in love again, love for my country. Happy Valentine's Day '08! thinkingblue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWcw2OEyhXI or http://www.thethinkingblue.com/obama08.html
A Valentine gift to America! Barack Obama, an extraordinary man for an extraordinary country. We need the change Mr. Obama can give to America. Vote For Change, Vote For Barack Obama. Help make this a better place for our children and their children. Help save our country, Obama in '08!
Barack Obama is asking us to BELIEVE. Not just in his ability to bring about real change in Washington... He's asking us to believe in our wonderful country once again! http://www.barackobama.com
Re: David Shuster's remark about The Clinton daughter
locker-room language is still rampant on our airwaves and elsewhere but should never be allowed to go unchecked. It seems as though, if people turn a deaf ear to, this so called "colorful language" of disrespect, it continues.
I was watching Bill Maher the other night and P. J. O'Rourke said something to the effect that what Ann Coulter says at 3 in the afternoon on TV, piped into millions of viewers living rooms, is language I (O'Rourke) would use in the middle of the night, at 3am, while I was roaring drunk. That says it all! In other words, this pattern of inconsiderate thought should be kept to one's self. This type of bad behavior by anchors, writers, pundits or any, who supposedly represent segments of we-the-people, should never be deemed as normal conduct.
DAVID SHUSTER, should have known better when that misogynist thought popped into his locker-room head. The fact that he ran with it, speaks volumes about our society's inability to consider all people equal, regardless of their political, racial, gender, sexual or religious differences from ourselves.
We should expect more from our media and they should expect more from themselves.
Read this article at: http://www.suntimes.com/news/washington/739385,CST-EDT-laura14.article and pass it around. Alert all to the secret, hateful code words being carelessly tossed around by those with or without an agenda. Perhaps, if we all could think before we opened our mouths there would be less hatred in the world... Then maybe the Limbaughs and Savages would be out of a job. Peace! thinkingblue
Yup, the nightmare Of Peace & Prosperity is finally over.
I love these tongue-in-cheek articles from The Onion because with all their sarcasm and cynicism there are also many grains of truth.
This particular article of January 17, 2001 is distinctively grandiose. Imagine, a newly selected (he wasn't elected) President, the most powerful man on Earth, telling the world that the USA's 8 year stint of Clinton prosperity and peace will end because he, Little Lord Bush, has been given the reins of power.
Beyond a doubt, the writer of this piece was a prophet. His/her fictional forecast of an 8 year tenure with George W. Bush at the helm has come true. The Peace & Prosperity we've grown accustomed to and loved has finally ended. Nostradamus, is probably turning over in his grave. thinkingblue
Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'
January 17, 2001 Issue 37•01
WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."
President-elect Bush vows that "together, we can put the triumphs of the recent past behind us."
"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."
Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.
"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"
On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.
Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.
Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: "That's hardly my area of expertise."
Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has "extensive experience" fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.
Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as "a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth."
"Soon, with John Ashcroft's help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic," Bush said. "We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies." Continued Bush: "John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state."
The speech was met with overwhelming approval from Republican leaders.
"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close,"House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."
"For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped," conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. "And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that's all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up."
An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.
"After eight years of relatively sane fiscal policy under the Democrats, we have reached a point where, just a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that the national debt could be paid off by as early as 2012," Rahway, NJ, machinist and father of three Bud Crandall said. "That's not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in."
"You have no idea what it's like to be black and enfranchised," said Marlon Hastings, one of thousands of Miami-Dade County residents whose votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. "George W. Bush understands the pain of enfranchisement, and ever since Election Day, he has fought tirelessly to make sure it never happens to my people again."
Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.
"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."
"The insanity is over," Bush said. "After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad."
Like I said, Nostradamus, is probably turning over in his grave. thinkingblue
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Send your lawmakers a Valentine to tell them you are sick to death with credit card rip-offs. It's time, NO IT'S LONG OVERDUE, to kiss Goodbye, to the loan shark industries and their easy LEGAL inflatable credit gimmicks!
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