Limbaugh told listeners of his Monday radio show that the media was “dumping” on Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman “because he is a white quarterback.” “They just want this guy not to do well,” Limbaugh claimed. “The guy’s been targeted for destruction.” In 2003, ESPN fired Limbaugh from his football analyst post for saying Philadelphia [...]
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Jake Tapper from ABC News dissects the fake scandal pushed by the "unnamed administration officials," Pentagon officials, GOP Congressmen Blunt and Putnam, the Moonie-owned mouthpiece of the right wing, the Washington Times, and, sadly, CNN.
The right wing noise machine, with the help of many in the traditional media, is accusing Pelosi (falsely) of wanting to use the plane that hauls Laura Bush around the country. It's not even true, but that seems to be the crux of their complaint. (Interestingly, Mrs. Bush, as far as I can tell, has no constitutional authority and most of her trips are pure fluff. So even were it true, why would Laura Bush need a better plane than the person second in line to the presidency during a time of war?)
The rules for travel by the Speaker changed after September 11, 2001. After Cheney, Pelosi is next in line to be President. In these times, where the Speaker is and how she travels is a major security issue for our country - and this was acknowledged by the Pentagon when they provided then-Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) with a military plane to travel back and froth from his district in Illinois, non-stop, without needing to refuel (which makes sense, considering the man may need to return to Washington in a hurry, as our new president, if Bush and Cheney and the rest of us are nuked).
Well, the Pentagon joined the political fray today and denied Pelosi a non-stop plane to California, even though Hastert was provided a non-stop plane to Illinois. The Pentagon's decision - clearly meant to be a partisan swipe at the House Speaker and the Democrats (after all, God forbid the generals at the Pentagon existed to protect all Americans, not just Republicans) - comes after a week during which the Republicans simply lied about this entire issue, repeatedly, until CNN, and especially Lou Dobbs, picked up the lie and beat it like a dead horse for an entire work, including today.
The Pentagon is playing politics with this issue and it's disgusting. And worse, in a democracy it's downright dangerous for our generals to act like we live in a banana republic. The Air Force provided a long list of rules for Pelosi's travel. Great. Do they give the same list to the White House for travel by Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney? Maybe David Gregory from NBC News, who breathlessly reported this story morning during the TODAY Show could find out. (That would be the same David Gregory who knew that the White House staff had leaked the name of Valerie Plame, but nonetheless dutifully reported their denials without question. Plame leak, not a story. GOP lies about Pelosi's plane, he's giddy. Pathetic.)
Then we have the complete disinformation campaign spewing from House Republican leaders, Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Adam Putnam (R-FL). Blunt and Putnam are just plain lying. Per ABC's Jake Tapper, one of the only reporters who took the time to find out the truth (Lou Dobbs, check out how a real reporter covers the news - yeah, I know this story has nothing to do with bashing Mexicans, so it might be hard for you to follow):
Republican leaders have also stated ? with no tangible evidence ? that Pelosi wants to use the plane to reward financial contributors. [emphasis added because it's a key point overlooked by many in the media]No tangible evidence to back up those claims, yet the GOP leaders - and CNN - never worry about the facts. Has Blunt ever checked to see if the Bush White House has taken supporters on government planes? Doesn't have to. Blunt and Putnam know few reporters (Lou Dobbs) will do what Tapper did to see if there is any basis to their claims.
"She was offered the same aircraft that the previous speaker had," Putnam said yesterday. "It sat 12 people, and she refused it, didn't think it was big enough for all of her friends and supporters. In fact, she specifically requested that supporters be able to travel."
Said Blunt, "If you can take your supporters in the air on a government plane, that is a pretty big perk to be able to offer, I would think, whether you are the speaker or anybody else."
DR. J'S SHORT SHOT
Today we are inaugurating a new occasional "Dr. J." feature on BuzzFlash, "Notes for the Week." They will consist of really "short shot" versions of my "Short Shots." Hope you like them.
I'm going to be spending much of the afternoon at this New America event on the prospects for a right-left synthesis or, as I see it, the likelihood that the right will come to embrace more elements of the left....[...]
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TomDispatch: The Pentagon has been extremely secretive about offering any significant information on the size, scope, and damage involved in its air operations over Iraq (h/t The Left Coaster)Vagabond Scholar: How the press can prevent another Iraq Blue Gal: Some real smart men are telling BG that she's obsoleteMaxSpeak, You Listen!: Balanced Budget In The Sky [...]
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More progress in Iraq! As if it weren't bad enough yesterday when we learned that three former Army Reserves officers, and two American civilians have been indicted on charges that they steered more than $8.6 million in reconstruction funds meant for Iraq to a contractor in exchange for kickbacks, today we learn that the Iraqi Health Minister is being accused of being a central figure in alleged corruption and the infiltration of the ministry by Shiite militiamen.
A ministry spokesman said U.S. and Iraqi forces had seized deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili, a supporter of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, from his first-floor office in northern Baghdad.
The detainee was implicated in the deaths of several ministry officials, including the director-general in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, the military said.
He reportedly orchestrated several kickback schemes related to inflated contracts for equipment and services, with millions of dollars allegedly funneled to the Mahdi Army militia that is loyal to al-Sadr, according to the statement.
And if none of that is enough to "impress you," about how much progress is being made, the man is also suspected of providing what the AP describes as "large-scale" employment of militia members who used Health Ministry facilities and services for sectarian kidnapping and murder.
Hooray for George Bush's phenomenal (and very unique) "progress" in Iraq!
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Craig Unger's article in VANITY FAIR is, I don't even know the word.
You just have to read it. The bottom line is that the exact same people who got us into the Iraq war are on the verge of convincing Bush to attack Iran.
The article even quotes Binyamin Netanyahu, one of the neocons' mentors, as saying that Iraq was the wrong war in the first place. Iran was the war he wanted although Iraq was okay too.
You'd think the cast of characters who got us into this war would be not just out of power but in exile somewhere.
But they are not. They are all here in Washington, some still in top government positions, some at AEI and the other think tanks, some at Georgetown, many still in top media positions. And they are all pushing for this second war.
Remember how Bush once tried to say "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" and got it all mixed up. Well, the fact is that if we allow this to happen a second time, then we deserve it. The ones who won't deserve it will be the US soldiers, the Iranian civilians, the Americans who will die in terrorist blowback throughout the world, the Israelis and Palestinians who will die under Hezbollah missiles, the troops in Iraq, etc, etc.
Can this really happen? If so, then it really didn't matter much that we elected a Democratic Congress.
3200 dead Americans and God knows how many dead Iraqis and the Cheneys-Gaffneys-Ledeens-Perles-Feiths-Wurmsers-Pletkas-
Kristols-Krauthammers-Eliot Cohens etc are still there whispering into Bush's ear: "Do it. It's your legacy. Do it. Iran will vindicate everything."
Can someone force these people to go to Walter Reed and see what they have already accomplished? Or would those poor mangled kids not matter to these moral monsters?
The surge is bad enough. What will follow is infinitely worse.
The filleting of Tim Russert continues into a second hour this morning… the first hour focused on Russert never disclosing his gabby interview with the FBI in November 2003, either to TV viewers or in fighting a grand jury subpoena in 2004. [...]
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A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Marjorie Cohn
When the Army judge declared a mistrial over defense objection in 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's court martial yesterday, he probably didn't realize jeopardy attached. That means that under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution, the government cannot retry Lt. Watada on the same charges of missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer.