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.