On MSNBC’s Hardball tonight, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who is leading a White House front group to defend Bush’s escalation, was unable to name the wounded Iraq veteran featured in his organization’s pro-war ad. “I don’t have his name in front of me,” said Fleischer when asked by host Mike Barnicle if he knew the soldier’s name.
Later in the program, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America executive director Paul Rieckhoff ripped into Fleischer’s offensive ignorance. “What bothered me the most is that Ari Fleischer didn’t even know the guy’s name.” said Rieckhoff. “He’s willing to run a multi-million dollar campaign, utilizing the personal story of a soldier, and he couldn’t tell you on national TV what that soldier’s name is.”
Rieckhoff described it as part of “a problematic trend” that Freedom’s Watch is using the soldier’s “personal story” as “a backdrop for political rhetoric”:
People on both sides of the aisle, but especially the president and this administration, have continued to use troops as a political prop. As a backdrop for political rhetoric. It’s why the president gave such an impassionate speech today in front of the VFW. It’s why this ad carries so much weight on a visceral level. And it really bothers me because our troops are not political props and they’re not chew toys.
Fleischer and his team of Bush surrogates are spending $15 million to run the ad featuring the soldier, whose name is John Kriesel, in 20 states for a month. Hopefully, Fleischer will remember his name from now on.
Well, not, not really. Just was away from the internets for a bit longer than expected today.
Read The Full Article:
The August 22 edition of The Washington Post's The Trail, "A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008," cropped an August 21 comment by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) on the troop buildup in Iraq -- that "[i]f we put 30,000 additional troops into Baghdad, it will quell some of the violence short-term" -- and juxtaposed it with his January 5 comment -- that "an escalation of troop levels in Iraq was a mistake and that we need a political accommodation rather than a military approach to the sectarian violence[...]
Read The Full Article:
This interview is one of the reasons why America is so uninformed about serious issues in our country. Kyra Phillips is really engaged in the Utah mining disaster and has a genuine passion about the story, but instead of asking the real questions to Murray about the dangerous mining conditions he promoted after [...]
Read The Full Article:
Elaine Supkis writes at Culture of Life:
Cheap oil and cheap loans were a trap for the American and European middle classes. When America and Europe produced energy, this was a key to wealth for the middle classes. But now this is reversed and proof is how OPEC now has great sovereign wealth as well as Russia. And China and India, working as the places where we not wring out energy-caused inflation, are hammering our middle classes as even all white collar as well as industrial jobs are outsourced. And more real estate organizations and moguls are going under, Moody's re-rates them as CCC or worse!
We knew from day one that the bulk of the tax cuts would flow to the top 10% of Americans. We knew that cutting the taxes for Wall Street's trading stream would cause a huge stock market boom based on little internal logic. We knew that privatizing war would lead to the bankruptcy of our nation. Coupling all these things and stirring into the pot the business of 'free trade' and we get the destruction of the American Empire.
The rich want power. And if this means killing the middle class, they will cheerfully do this for this makes them stronger, politically, as well as richer. The rape of the middle class was assisted by these same victims who joined with the upper classes in attacking the poor. The desire to punish 'welfare moms' and to fix public and even more, private morals, lead many middle class people down the path to their own destruction on both points. As morals collapse in the middle class, so does their finances. The re-enslavement of the population of New Rome mirrors the same process that destroyed Old Rome.
When free trade was sold to the middle class as a great way to avoid the effects of inflation caused by oil price hikes and wars, the middle class was sold. Prices for toys like TVs and cars dropped like a rock compared to inflation. So long as wages kept up with or surpassed inflation, the middle class refused to understand the hazards behind their embrace of free trade. One ugly deal the middle made was to follow Ronald Reagan in his quest to destroy unions. This process has been a total success.
Alas, the only route to the middle class happens to be 'union made'! It doesn't matter what trade one is in, globalization is now eating into ALL occupations! From lawyers to accountants, automakers to toy makers, everyone and everything is being (sic) outsourced in order to make more money for the rich! And the wages of the top staff working on this massive project to destroy the middle class are going up, too. But everyone below the very top are seeing wages fall. This includes many occupations requiring college degrees. Once upon a time when the middle class was much smaller, the main road to the middle class was a college degree which is why the Democratic plan for the GI Bill was a huge boost to creating the middle class after WWII.
Now, it is increasingly a path to lifetime debt and poor pay as wages for workers with degrees now begin to drop.
It is six hours later, and I am still trying to make sense of that speech Resident Evil gave at the VFW convention, just a few blocks from my home...I'm still waiting for the lotus-like sluggishness of intellect to lift from my zipcode. We are deep blue here in the MO 05, and we were just inundated by more republicans downtown than Kansas City has seen since the convention in 1976.
But I was ranting about Resident Evil. Where was I?
Holy Chocolate Covered Christ, aren't we well into "fitness to serve" territory yet?!?!?!?
He just stood in front of the VFW and did a backflip with a 180 and stuck the landing - and nobody noticed! I actually think he freakin' believes his own bullshit!
After rejecting parallels with Vietnam, he is suddenly stripping to his skivvies and ready to climb into the sack with those very comparisons, albeit with a kinky twist. Now it seems he thinks that we should have stayed in Vietnam - you remember Vietnam - that was the war that he, draft-dodging, war-mongering, chickenhawk that he is - refused to fight, the draft he dodged - you remember Vietnam. I certainly do, and so do my aunt and uncle who lost their oldest son....And Veterans of that conflict embarrassed me today by clapping for that sonofabitch who so spectacularly failed the test back then.
"Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Mr. Bush said. "Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields."'And the idiots who voted for this clown called Kerry a flip-flopper. None of you should EVER call a Democrat a flip-flopper in my presence again. Not with this fucking political gymnast representin' y'all.
"It just boggles my mind, the distortions I feel are perpetrated here by the president," he said in a telephone interview.So - will the mainstream media give him a[nother] pass, or will they finally call him on his delusional bullshit? What will you bet he gets a pass? But I think I have maybe figured out why...it is that he is just so fucking wrong, wronger than anyone has ever been, so wrong that in the history of incompetence and failure he gets a special category...That there is just an air of "Holy shit. Where do I even start???"
"We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn't work our will," he said.
"What is Bush suggesting? That we didn't fight hard enough, stay long enough? That's nonsense. It's a distortion," he continued. "We've been in Iraq longer than we fought in World War II. It's a disaster, and this is a political attempt to lay the blame for the disaster on his opponents. But the disaster is the consequence of going in, not getting out."
I collect the folk art works of an Eastern Shore artist and craftsman named Jimmie Reynolds, who I met years ago in Chestertown, Maryland. Visitors to my office often comment on a "dancing crabs" painting in my office --...
Read The Full Article:
Let me state my position unequivocally to preempt spin. I am not necessarily anti-war across the board, but I am and have always been anti Iraq war. I am as pro-G.I. as you can possibly be, but I am as opposed to Resident Evil and his 'policies' as is possible as well. He is a warmongering toad, and a danger to the Republic.
But the MBA president sure has a good marketing team. The marketing team is so effective that they have convinced staunch withdrawal advocates that another Friedman is called for.
The most vapid bullshit is being repackaged and sold...and Democrats are lining up to buy it. Hillary has been so fished in that she swallowed the hook.
"We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Anbar province, it's working," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday.BZZZTTT!!! Wrong! What is happening in Anbar has nothing - nothing - to do with the so-called Surge?/troop buildup and everything to do with deals being struck with Sunni insurgents that involves massive amounts of firearms and ammo. Consider this for a moment: 170 million mostly 9 mil. rounds for Iraq, and stateside our police forces train with paintballs because there is insufficient ammo. (I have been very vocal about pointing out that the Romney boys and the Bush twits are ducking duty, but Chelsea Clinton isn't in uniform either, and if Mommy is going to be a war-monger on the stump, it's only fair to point that out.)
Former White House aides are joining Republican fundraisers in bankrolling a $15 million, five-week advertising campaign putting pressure on lawmakers whose backing of President Bush's Iraq war strategy may be wavering.
The group, Freedom's Watch, launched the ads Wednesday, even as Bush delivered a renewed call for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq. The money will pay for ad placements on national cable and local television stations as well as on radio and the Internet.
The ads will run in 20 states and will urge viewers to ask their member of Congress to stand by Bush's plan. Organizers of the effort would not identify the targeted lawmakers, but a review of the initial TV ad placements done by a group opposed to the war shows most of them are in Republican congressional districts.
Kagro already wrote about their efforts to pre-screen callers to make sure only pro-war messages get through to Congress. They know far too many people would pick up the phone and deliver the far more popular message -- get our troops home safely to their families.
But anytime Republicans want to spend $15 million
attacking "pressuring" their own, all the while keeping Iraq prominently in the public consciousness, is a time to celebrate. And what's best, they're putting pressure on Republicans that might waver because of electoral demands. In other words -- making it harder for those endangered Republicans to adjust to public opinion in their districts.
Americans United for Change, which is running anti-war ads in many districts across the country, has compiled a list (sent via email) of where the Bush Republicans are running their ad.
(Asterix denotes Republican)
Member Market $$ Spent
Domenici*/Wilson* Albuqurque, NM $254,190
Collins*/Snowe* Portland, ME $105,995
Collins*/Snowe* Bangor, ME $158,780
Grassley* Cedar Rapids, IA $118,165
Grassley*/Latham* Des Moines, IA $200,520
Grassley* Sioux City, IA $56,925
Ehlers* Grand Rapids, MI $177,435
Specter*/Platts* Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA $226,265
Specter*/Gerlach* Philadelphia, PA $922,325
Specter*/Murphy* Pittsburgh, PA $251,290
Coleman*/Ramstad* Minneapolis, MN $220,750
Porter* Las Vegas, NV $63,900
Heller* Reno, NV $138,210
LaTourette*/Voinovich*Youngstown, OH $32,935
Walsh* Syracuse, NY $144,955
Kuhl* Rochester, NY $187,235
Davis*/Warner* Washington DC $473,570
G. Smith* Bend, OR $66,285
G. Smith* Medford, OR $83,710
Pryor Little Rock, AR $351,420
Gilchrest* Salisbury, MD $145,925
Dole*/Inglis* Greenville-Spartanburg,NC $108,470
McConnell* Lexington, KY $126,635
McConnell* Louisville, KY $134,140
Hagel* Lincoln, NE $80,395
Look at this -- they're actually going after the Senate Minority Leader! And while they are painting themselves as an equal opportunity attack operation, targeting both Democrats and Republicans, there is only one Democrat on that entire list -- Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. (The "Murphy" on the list is Republican Tim Murphy, not the Democratic one "Patrick".)
What's more, of these, the following face tough re-election battles next year: Rep. Heather Wilson in NM-01, Sen. Susan Collins in Maine, Rep. Jim Gerlach in PA-06, Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota, Rep. Jim Walsh in NY-25, Rep. Randy Kuhl in NY-29, Rep. Tom Davis who will likely be running for Senate in Virginia, Sen. Gordon Smith who faces a tough re-election climate in Oregon, Sen. Liddy Dole who won't get a pass in North Carolina, Rep. Jon Porter in NV-03, Rep. Dean Heller in NV-02, and Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
That's the bulk of their list. They are actually attacking those members that most desperately need distance from the administration on Iraq.
Put another way, Bush Republicans care more about Mr. 25%'s legacy, than they care about their own electoral chances in 2008.
Amazing. And beautiful. Really, really beautiful.
Update: Here are their ads.
Update II: Kagro already noted that just pro-war supporters get patched through by this organization's operators. One reader wrote in about the experience:
Markos, you may have already seen this, but the operators answering the toll free number (1-877-222-8001) at the end of the pro-war ad targeting Republicans that started running today will only patch you through if you agree with the statement that “surrendering in Iraq will only open us up to terrorist attacks here at home.”
If you don’t agree with that statement, the operator won’t patch you through. She told me “we only help people who support the war” and hung up on me.
As Kagro wrote:
They won't even risk giving people the truth about Congress's phone number. Which, by the way, is (202) 224-3121 for the Senate, and (202) 225-3121 for the House.
Update III: After seeing the ads, I've changed the name of the post. It's not a "swiftboat" by traditional definition. It's merely ads pressuring those elected officials into taking an unpopular stand against the interests of their districts.
Our national honor has, in fact, been compromised by George Bush’s lust for torture. These are war crimes. Having to listen to him preach about the morality of anything is, at this point, a real bellyfull.[...]
Read The Full Article: