Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crucifying Pelosi

This email to Scarborough was modified for readers to the extent that I changed the order of appearance for links 1 and 2 to make more sense to readers. 
Otherwise, nothing else was changed.

To: Joe Scarborough

Subject: Stop being lazy and do your damn job! Read this stuff about Nancy Pelosi! Your ignorance is causing an injustice!


Greg Sargent

Who Runs Government

The Plum LineGreg Sargent's blog

Fox News: Focus On Pelosi Changes Subject From Whether To Prosecute Bush Officials
Check out this surprisingly candid moment on Fox, where a top network correspondent says that the GOP’s attack on Nancy Pelosi over what she knew about torture is a winner for the GOP because it changes the subject from whether Bush officials should be prosecuted:

The Fox correspondent, Jonathan Hunt, says the Pelosi focus is a distraction from a real debate about torture:

“Instead of this debate being about national security, what is and isn’t torture, what the Bush administration should and shouldn’t have allowed and whether anybody in that administration should now be prosecuted, the Republicans are now able to frame this debate as to whether Nancy Pelosi is fit to continue as Speaker. So they are not about to let their foot off the gas in any way, shape, or form.”

This mirrors what many Republicans, excited about the way this one is going, are saying privately. It’s also interesting that this level of candor is only likely to fire up the GOP base, which is hungry for a display of GOP aggressiveness and a win at all costs.

Media out of touch on Pelosi-CIA flap

The Huddle: Changing conversation
By MARTIN KADY II | 5/18/09 7:27 AM
Recess can't come fast enough for Pelosi and her staff and Republicans are enjoying the implosion.
Wow, this Nancy Pelosi-vs-CIA story must be really awful for Pelosi, huh? Sounds like people just aren't buying her statement that the CIA misled her.

But wait, what's this? Polling shows that more people do think it's likely the CIA misled Pelosi?

How likely is it that the CIA misled Pelosi about the use of waterboarding when interrogating prisoners?
20% Very likely
23% Somewhat likely
19% Not very likely
22% Not at all likely
16% Not sure

Media Matters

TOPICS Torture

Sen. Bob Graham backs up Pelosi and says he was never briefed on waterboarding by the CIA
By John Amato Friday May 15, 2009 2:00pm


PLAYS: (2371)

This is a block buster. Former Sen.(D)Bob Graham, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee told David Shuster that he never was briefed about waterboarding by the CIA on MSNBC. He also said that he was never allowed to take real notes about the CIA briefings, but he did log the topics and the amount of times he was briefed. They don't match up with the CIA's version. And of course, George "Slam Dunk" Tenet's outfit never was wrong or misled us before. James Fallows backs up Graham's honesty and integrity by the way. And Graham also sees the real motives behind the smearing of Pelosi. As he says it's an attempt to shift the blame away the Bush administration and their use of torture.

Graham: David, when I was briefed about three weeks after The Speaker, the subject "waterboarding" never came up. Nor did the treatment of Abu-Zubaydah or any other specific detainee.

Shuster: And that's significant because by the time of your briefing and the Speaker's briefing we now know that Zubaydah had been waterboarded 83 times, so again was their a requirement, was it incumbent on the CIA to tell you as the Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee or a ranking member, was there an obligation on them to tell you what was going on?

Graham: Yes, they're obligated to tell the full Intelligence Committee not just the leadership. This was the same time, within the same week in fact that the CIA was submitting their National Intelligence Estimate or NIE report on WMD's in IRAQ which proved so erroneous that we went to war and that have had thousands of persons killed and injured as a result of misinformation.

David, I think fundamentally what's happening is there's an attempt underway to try and shift the discussion away from what's really important and that is did the US use torture? Was that within the law? Who authorized and what were the consequences of that. Those are the important issues. Whether The Speaker or anybody else knew about it is frankly sort of off on the edges.

Graham blasts the CIA for also misleading us in the IRAQ WAR, but they would never try to mislead Pelosi or smear her now. He also calls for a Truth Commission on Torture. Can Republicans now keep denying that we need a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of all this torture business?

Crooks and Liars

Scarborough, you pop off as if you know the facts when you know nothing! You say that the people are more favorable to the CIA, well here's the Rassmussen view! Rassmussen!


3* How likely is it that the CIA misled Pelosi about the use of waterboarding when interrogating prisoners?
20% Very likely
23% Somewhat likely
19% Not very likely
22% Not at all likely
16% Not sure

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and the GOP Nervous Breakdown

Mt. Rushbo

It seems that the Republicans are suffering from a nervous breakdown.

It's cause is deep insecurity, which manifests itself in denial, as exhibited for example, by the attempt to obstruct the American Rescue and Recovery Act, and congratulating themselves for being irrelevant regarding it's passage.

A symptom is confusion, loss of self identity. What direction do they go in? Who is the leader? Do they go in a direction that puts them more in touch with the majority of people? Or do they retreat inward and hold on for dear life to the one core constituency they have left, and risk consigning themselves to a doctrinaire niche? Do they follow the lead of a chairman who wants to reorganize the party, and show some backbone, or do they turn into little lemmings and follow a pompous overinflated blowhard "with talent on loan from God," over the narrow cliff of their doctrines?

Well, the Republicans chose the latter of each set of choices.

Instead of choosing to at least not commit to a policy, they have no choice but to shore up their base of their ultraconservative hard right core.

And the hard right core is now one twitching ball of nerves!

Anyway you poke them they give a galvanic response.

Obama's election, let alone the union of a Democratic Presidency with a Democratic Congress at a time of dire economic crisis is the Republican 9/11.

And now they are given to all sorts wild imaginings when we are finally addressing all of the wrongs of a flawed system that still works, but needs to be made responsive to the people.

And so, the Right is drawing up all kinds of paranoid barricades, pulling wagons in a circle, waiting for some imaginary version of the Left to impose it's dark ideology on these United States.

So scared are they that they aren't just on full vigil for any large movements in general, but they perceive the "real" treachery, and "true liberal agenda" in the smallest most insignificant anecdotes ever.

On March 3, on Larry King Weekend, radio talk show host Stephanie Miller was simply stating that when Rush Limbaugh said about the President: "I hope he fails," he was behaving with incendiary irresponsibility, and all to get himself more attention. Miller then gave this analogy:

If I could say something tonight that gets me that kind of attention, like maybe Rush Limbaugh should be executed for treason. How about that?

But the Right Wing blogoshere, eager to pounce on anything that proves their point, misread the quote, and then missed the point.

CNlN, the Right Wing blogsite came out with this on March 6:

This is the real face of the left and it is one that they rarely expose in public. This is the LIBERAL FASCISM that I always speak about.

Rush Limbaugh should be executed? Because he does not want socialism in America?

NOW you know why Socialism always leads to revolution. Communism has killed 120 million people and NOW you know why.

Just imagine if Rush Limbaugh said that Keith Olbermann or Christiane Amanpour should be executed for their treasonous reporting of the Iraq War.

On March 6, World Net Daily said this about Miller:

Radio talker Stephanie Miller, outraged that Rush Limbaugh wants Barack Obama's policies to fail, has called for the nation's top talk host to be charged with treason and executed.
She made the call, not on her rather obscure radio program but on CNN's "Larry King Live" show Tuesday.
King seemed unfazed by the suggestion, neither following it up with a challenge or a question.
"To me that seems treasonous," Miller said. "If I could say something tonight that gets me that kind of attention, like maybe Rush Limbaugh should be executed for treason. How about that?"

Red State perpetuates the self-delusion:

It never surprises me when an angry Liberal spews hate and hostility. They call us haters, racists, and a variety other harsh adjectives, when they are the hostile, angry ones. They are so misguided and uninformed and confused by an unsatisfying ideology. It is so sad.

What is sad is that the hideous truth that the author of this last diatribe is unwilling to concede is that it was his own party's "unsatisfying ideology" that lead us to this dire situation, and that people are now open to the new and untried.

In their highly fragile state, the Republicans have manifested their self-delusion in choosing an extremist for a leader.

Which leads us to the de facto chairman - Rush Limbaugh and the entailing embarrassment for the party and Michael Steele.

Nothing could make me happier than to crown El Rushbo king of the Republicans!

When Limbaugh said twice on the air and once in a speech for CPAC that he hopes that the President fails, and the Republican leadership apologized to Limbaugh for attempting to admonish him, that made me see that if we can keep King Rush on his absolute throne, the Democrats can effectively neuter the opposition by tying this odious, unpopular can to their tails.

And the beauty is, El Rushbo doesn't care. In fact, he's more than happy to take the job!

In this case, the egg definitely preceded the chicken.

The Right was definitely cultivating the Bible Belt, but could not control the one man on secular radio who made himself the spokesman for all ultra-conservatives.

And what perfect fit for angry hate-filled Right Wingers Rush is!

He's bombastic, narcissistic, arrogant with an inflated sense of importance and delusions of both godhood and martyrdom!

On March 9, Limbaugh himself said on his show:

I must present an obstacle. if I had no impact, if I had no influence, if, if, I was such an extremist appealing to such a small number of people, why then what they'd be doing is laughing. And what they'd be do … or ignoring. But they are running TV ads against me! Newt Gingrich wishes they'd be running TV ads against him! But they're running TV ads against me! So, I love it. I'm up for it. I raise my hand. I'm the last man standing. I'm not going to back down. I'm not going to stop saying what I say, or what I believe, 'cause I'm a American, I'm a citizen, and I happen to have the good fortune of having a microphone to blare what I believe, and I'm … I happen to have the opportunity to be able to do it very well, with talent on loan from God. And I know that if we just keep plugging away hard enough, we're going to break through.

As for being pompous and arrogant, well, this year at CPAC he could merely manage some false modesty as illustrated by this joke.

One of the things that is totally erroneous about me -- and I just want to get this up front -- is that I'm pompous. [Laughter]

And that I am arrogant. Neither of these things are remotely true. I can tell you a joke to illustrate this. Larry King passed away, goes to heaven. He's greeted by Saint Peter at the gates. Saint Peter says, 'Welcome, Mr. King, it's great to have you here. I want to show you around, give you an idea of what's here, maybe you can pick a place that you'd like to reside.' King says, 'I just have one question: Is Rush Limbaugh here?'

'No, he's got a lot of time yet, Mr. King.' So Saint Peter begins the tour. Larry King sees the various places and it's beyond anything we can imagine in terms of beauty. Finally, he gets to the biggest room of all, with this giant throne. And over the throne is a flashing beautiful angelic neon sign that says 'Rush Limbaugh.' [Laughter]

And Larry King looks at Saint Peter and says: 'I thought you said he wasn't here.'

He said, 'He's not, he's not. This is God's room. He just thinks he's Rush Limbaugh.

Well, if this is the person a desperate GOP wants to cling to as flotsam, with Steele, Gingrey et al. kowtowing to him, then maybe Pelosi and Reid should negotiate new legislation with him and forget all the bit players.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Obama's Inauguration - A New Day For Hate

I don't want to scare anyone, but I am concerned.

Think that Progressives and Center Lefties are the only ones celebrating the election of Barack Obama? Think again. The Lunatic Right is overjoyed! And that makes me nervous!

I'm not talking about loudmouths like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, or Limbaugh. They are crying in their beer. I'm talking about the true nut cases who espouse violence in the name of "racial purity."

The Nazis, the White Nationalists and the Klansmen are still here friends.

Too much prejudice and narrow mindedness has been ingrained into our psyche to be wiped out in my lifetime. When I was born, the Civil Rights movement was only three years old. In 1964, the Voting Rights Act was signed, but on the way, Schwerner, Cheney, Goodman, Medgar Evers and Viola Liuso were murdered. Four years later, Martin Luther King was martyred. As I recall, a massive cultural effort was needed to make white America confront it's prejudices.

And always there was that violent paranoid extremist element that stubbornly refused to open their minds.

Tom Metzger, David Duke and Thomas Robb all started their careers in hate early under the John Birch Society and George Lincoln Rockwell.

My point is this: We lost Abraham (Lincoln,) Martin (Luther King,) and John (F. Kennedy,) to the bullets of ignorance. Let's not lose Barack.

Am I talking nonsense? The ban on assault weapons was repealed. Anyone with money and know - how can acquire weapons for a small army. And calling an act of domestic terror a hate crime doesn't make it any less lethal. Anyone who doesn't believe that can ask the ghosts of Oklahoma City if it's nonsense!

We as a people are capable of violence. All we need to do is get on our high-horses to feel we have the right to do almost anything. That is the nature of most kind of extremism. The ultra-extremist, the revolutionary goes beyond that.

That person deals in totalities. They want to create "new societies." In order to do that you must regiment society. Democracy is tiresome to the White Aryan.

But the White Aryan / Nationalist must also defend the purity of the race, and this, as far as the racist revolutionary is concerned, can only be done with revolution and radical action.

The problem is as far as the racist is concerned, it is the white race that is being oppressed, not the "so called" (by them,) minorities! And to make matters worse, white people don't know they've lost power, and are duped into participating in their own pollution!

So now the Nazis, Klansmen and White Supremacists are overjoyed at the election of Barack Obama!

In their eyes, now has come the right time to expose the "oppression of the white race."

In the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, Mark Potok writes:

Even before the campaign was over, racial rage, clearly driven by fear of a black man in the White House, began to break out around the country. Effigies of Obama appeared hanging from nooses on university campuses. Angry supporters of John McCain and Sarah Palin shouted "Kill him!" at a campaign rally and even screamed "nigger" at a black cameraman, telling him, "Sit down, boy!" The head of the Hillsborough County, Fla., Republican Party sent an E-mail warning members of "the threat" of "carloads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes." A reporter who has covered every presidential election since 1980 told me he had never seen such fury. Similar scenes were reported nationwide.

Improbable in the era of Cumbaya? Not for Dave Stancliff of the Eureka Times-Standard:

How far have we come? I'd say we've come a long way. We've elected the first African-American/Caucasian president. There are a lot of hate laws on the books now. Most people seem more aware of our diversity and are more respectful of different skin color.
We should celebrate the upcoming changes we expect President-elect Barack Obama to bring about for the good of all, but that soft underbelly of hatred and intolerance shows signs of new growth.
White supremacist anxieties over a black leader in the White House have grown rapidly with the worsening economic crisis and demographic trends that indicate whites will cease to be a majority of Americans within a generation, according to the FBI.

Thomas Robb's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a case in point In a post for his blog, the author states:.

The president elect now stands as a symbol to our people throughout this nation that change is indeed coming. What will it mean for those who are being disenfranchised from the very nation purchased by the blood of their forefathers? It could mean an awakening of our spirit and blood. Every time the television shows an image of Obama it will be a reminder that our people have lost power in this country. We actually lost that power 40 years ago, but with a white president people would go to sleep thinking at least white people were still running things. Now there is no reason to believe this. The betrayal will stare them in the face each time they watch the news and see little black children playing in the rose garden.

The author goes on to state:

So we have to admit that this may be the best thing that has happened to us. It perhaps comes as a wake-up call to the sleeping giant deep in the heart of our people.

So don’t despair! Don’t be discouraged! We have been saying this would happen. We have said that there is a growing subtle hatred for our people. This has not been a battle between Republicans or Democrats. This was not a battle between liberals and conservatives. This is a race war - a culture war - being waged against white people. As more and more non-whites come into this country the hatred for the founding people will grow.

Now Robb sees himself as a non-violent person and he may be right:

We are not asking you to hate anyone! We are not asking you to commit an illegal act. We are not asking you to hurt anyone. We just want you to love your people and do that which your forefathers did - give your children a bright future.

But there is no denying the gist of his message - racial conflict is coming.

Unfortunately, if it were simply a matter of propaganda vs. propaganda I'd say fine, bring it and let democracy decide, but not everyone on the extreme Left or Right are civil.

And trust me, neither Commie or Nazi understand civil.

They know guns though.

Greg Evensen seems to think a civil war in the U.S. is inevitable.

Even before Election Day, Evensen said he must begin to view neighbors, co-workers as potential enemies. In his article for News with Views, THE NEXT CIVIL WAR FOR HISTORIC AMERICA: ARE YOU MY ENEMY? he states:

I am faced with the certain realization that no matter how I may try to sugar coat it, this time -- those who voted or supported the socialist left, the democrats, the liberals, the “elitists” in the universities and business, the apostate “liberation theology” or do nothing church, and politics everywhere--are my enemy. It can be stated in no other terms. That’s a fact, Jack.

But what he says a little later is chilling:

Minutemen and the militia were responsible for their own arms, ammunition and supplies. Can you muster with others and provide the essentials? Can you carry all that you need for two to three days at a time? Can you sleep with your back to a tree on cold, wet ground? Can you be still for an hour or two just watching and listening? How will you communicate with your fellow patriots—safely? When the bad guys start shooting, what will you do? Will you give away your position by firing randomly to “scare” them off? Will you remain defensive and not set yourself up for being killed? Will you learn how to move with stealth? Can you disarm someone and take them as a prisoner?

These are but a few examples of the rabid paranoia that is out there. But we are now in a new era, in new territory that most everyone in America but an ignorant, bigoted minority wants to explore. Mostly everyone in that minority won't act, but there is that militia fringe. All it took was one Lee Harvey Oswald to kill Kennedy, and one Timothy McVeigh to bomb Oklahoma City.

The SPLC's Mark Potok is quite clear about this problem.

David Duke, the former Klan leader and convicted felon who is the closest thing the radical right has to an intellectual leader these days, believes this could all work to his benefit. In an essay this summer, the neo-Nazi ideologue argued that an Obama victory would serve as a "visual aid" to white Americans, provoking a backlash that Duke believes will "result in a dramatic increase in our ranks."
Even as we embark on a new national adventure, the signs are worrying. It may be that the hate mongers are wrong, that Americans' better angels will prevail and the changes that are sweeping America will not result in a growing rage on the right. But experience tells us that while we hope for the best, we also must prepare for what could be a dangerous, racially motivated backlash of hate.

Look, we have to be vigilant ourselves. Use my links. Monitor the sites. Read what those people are writing, and what they are reading. Talk to whomever it is you must talk to if you hear something. I've already lived through the assassination of one President. I don't need another.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

John McCain's Glass House Part 3

MR. MATTHEWS: If you have liberal views, does that mean you have anti-American views? What's the connection? I don't get the connection. What's the connection between liberal and leftist and anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Anti-American is the point, because --

MR. MATTHEWS: I mean, if you're liberal, are you anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, the liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers, they're over-the-top anti-American. And that's the question that Americans have. Remember, it was Michelle Obama who said she's only recently proud of her country. And so these are very anti-American views.


REP. BACHMANN: That's not the way that most Americans feel about our country. Most Americans, Chris, are wild about America, and they're very concerned to have a president who doesn't share those values.

And now we have the latest episode of Republicans shooting themselves in the foot with their attempts at slander as Michelle Bachman gets her Joe McCarthy on.

This is the same person who blamed the Minnesota Democrats for failing to pass a bill that she herself voted against - The Protect America Act.

She also has this fetish for old-fashioned light bulbs, introducing a "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" to combat the government intrusion of phasing out conventional light bulbs! Will the A.C.L.U. back her? Will the onslaught of incandescent bulbs lead to communism? Stay tuned!

Anyway, her jaunt into McCarthyism will cost her her job now that the RNC has pulled out of her campaign, and people incensed by her remarks have contributed enormously to her opponent's campaign.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

John McCain's Glass House Part 2

“This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign,” Powell said. “But Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?”

Colin Powell just gave his endorsement of Barack Obama. The above quote illustrates that he considered the behavior of his long-time friend McCain to be unconscionable.

What McCain & Co. have done is paint themselves into a corner, and now that they have run out of any talking points with any hint of verisimilitude, they have been reduced to a dog and pony show.

The loss of Powell for John McCain betrays another weakness in him that we don't want in a President, an inability to adapt.

He has been called on the matter of negative campaigning, calumny and slander for weeks now. Wouldn't that have warned him that an icon of moderate Republicans like Powell might be inspired to bolt?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John McCain's Glass House Part 1

The nerve! Last week, we heard cries of "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" when McCain or Palin rhetorically asked who Obama was, or what to do about him. It wasn't just that the crowd yelled these things, it was also that neither candidate repudiated, or even mildly corrected the crowd until three days later. Instead, McCain stood there with his stupid smile. And Palin? Her accusing a political opponent of "palling around with terrorists," not only crossed a line, it shows a tremendous lack of understanding and intellect. Then there are the McCain surrogates who feel free to slander and insult their opponent with the seemingly tacit approval of the principals.

Which makes the crocodile tears and false indignance of McCain over John Lewis's protest all the more galling.

John Lewis lived through the era he is comparing McCain's campaign with. I know that McCain's absence from the Freedom Rides or Mississippi's Freedom Summer was excusable, but didn't the public schools of Wasilla, or the five colleges that Sarah Palin attended teach about those things?

The brutal reception by the Klan of the Freedom Riders at every stop was a result of the atmosphere created by men like George Wallace, Orville Faubus and Lester Maddox. In the South, many politicians gave a wink and a nod to Klan activities. With the atmosphere that the McCain / Palin ticket is creating, such politicians may soon be returning.

McCain accuses Obama of having more negative ads than him, but answer me this Johnny, did Barack ever associate McCain any characters of ill repute? No! Obama took the high road in his attacks, and did not engage in innuendo and character assasination!

And yet to listen to John McCain's whine over John Lewis's written words, you'd think that Lewis was some Democratic Sarah Palin claiming that McCain was "palling around with Klansmen."