Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Too bad they didn't go with the name "Operation Iraqi Liberation" , then they could have saved space by simply chiselling O.I.L. into these headstones

"Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans"
By DAVID PACE, Associated Press Writer (via Yahoo News)
Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.
Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.
The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.
Thanks to AntiChimp for pointing out this outrage.

Two quotations of the day on the concept of "Blood Debt"

[...]Politically, mobilization for total war entailed military domination of domestic as well as international policy. [...] Once the war machine had been put in motion, and a "blood debt" to the war dead established, it was inconceivable not to support the emperor's loyal troops.
Despite the deepening quagmire of occupation and empire, Japanese leaders and followers alike soldiered on -- driven by patriotic ardor and a pitiful fatalism. It was only afterwards, in the wake of defeat, that pundits and politicians and ordinary people stepped back to ask: How could we have been so deceived?"

[...]For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.
"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."
What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself. [...]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

That's real "Christian" of you Pat. I think political assassination is exactly the tool that Jesus would have used in this situation.

"Televangelist Calls for Venezuelan President's Assassination"
- New York Times, 23 Aug 05:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming ''a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.''

''We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,'' Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's ''The 700 Club.''

Is there anything clever that can be added to this other than "Fuck You Pat, You Make Me Ashamed To Have Been Raised A Christian And An American"? Fuck You Very Much!

Transcript & Video available here at

Monday, August 22, 2005

Photographic proof that George coulda won that Tour de France thingie

Here's the picture on the front page of The White House website this morning.
I love the way our athletic Vacationer- in- Chief has a half-wheel lead on the 7-time Tour de France winner, showing that Lance Armstrong is following the same groundrules given to the embedded reporters who are allowed to ride with the President, or that our Fearless Leader missed his true calling in life -- to become a bicycle racer!

Would you buy a used war from this man? -
"Bush plans bid to rally Iraq support" -
Aug 22, 2005:
President Bush will launch a new round of speeches to rally support for the war in Iraq, advisers said Sunday, as protesters camped outside Bush's Texas home and polls showed weaker support for the two-year conflict.

Senior aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II, which U.S. forces fought from 1941 to 1945.

They said the president also will invoke the September 11, 2001, attacks, arguing once again that the insurgents battling American troops in Iraq share the same ideology.....

I wonder if this publicity tour will be as convincing as his Raping Social Security tour? Maybe he'd be better off taking a permanent vacation in Texas.

Friday, August 19, 2005

September 24 could be a very important day in the history of the American peace movement

I was glad to get this e-mail in my mailbox this evening:

ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE | 212-868-5545 | Click to subscribe

Statement about a joint rally and joint march for September 24

The two major antiwar coalitions that have initiated and organized for a massive anti-war March on Washington for September 24 have agreed to organize a joint rally followed by a joint march. Both coalitions will organize under their own banners, slogans, and with their own literature for the September 24 demonstration. The joint rally will begin at 11:30 am at the Ellipse in the front of the White House. We urge everyone around the country to unite and come out for the largest possible anti-war demonstration on September 24.

Signed by:

United for Peace and Justice

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
(on behalf of the September 24 National Coalition)

There were worries that the two competing groups would divide the crowd and dilute the anti-war message. The fact that they have joined forces is very good news indeed.
Even if you can't make it yourself, you can help them spread the word on your blogs and webpages and emails. There are banners here. Please consider adding one to your sidebar for the next month.

WHIG of the Week -- Andrew H. Card, Jr. , White House Chief of Staff and Product Marketing Expert

Andrew H. "Andy" Card, Jr., automobile industry lobbyist turned chief assistant to the CEO of BUSHCHENEYCo, Inc. (click for official bio here), could very well be remembered in the history texts and quotation anthologies of our future (assuming, optimists that we are, that we have a future) for two things: 1) the interruption of his boss's reading of My Pet Goat pictured to the right, and 2) the fact that he said to Elizabeth Bumiller of the New York Times that "you don't introduce new products in August." That quote certainly seems relevant to the Whiggate Update blog, which is getting a slow start in its first summer month of operation, but still planning to get the term "Whiggate" injected into the political dialogue of the nation in September. The article that included Andy Card's famous nugget of marketing wisdom is also a good recap of the way the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) worked in July and August of 2002 to implement the objectives of the Downing Street Memo (DSM) in the cynical runup to September 11 and 12. Though WHIG wasn't mentioned by name in this front page article (the mention of the group still has yet to make its first appearance in the Times!), three of its other prominent members are mentioned (Rove, Hughes, and Rice) in this early report on the most cynical product launch of the 21st century.

Click here for the full text on SF Indymedia for free, or here if you want to pay to read the whole thing for a fee from the New York Times, or just keep scrolling down if you want to read a lenghy block from this key reference:
Saturday, September 7, 2002 Pg. A1, A6

By Elizabeth Bumiller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.

The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It as not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq.

The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to launch their plan.

“From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, “you don’t introduce new products in August.”

A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year.

“Everybody felt that was a moment that Americans wanted to hear from him,” said Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political advisor. Sept. 11 will also be a time, Mr. Rove said, “to seize the moment to make clear what lies ahead.”

Toward that end, in June the White House picked Ellis Island in New York Harbor, not Governors Island, as the place where President Bush is to deliver his Sept. 11 address to the nation. Both spots were considered, White House advisors said, but the television camera angles were more spectacular from Ellis Island, where the Statue of Liberty will be seen aglow behind Mr. Bush.

“We had made a decision to that this would be a compelling story either place,” said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. “We sent a team out to go look and they said, ‘This is a better shot,’ and we said O.K.”

In the same way, Mr. Bush’s Sept. 11 remarks, about 10 minutes in length, are to serve as the emotional precursor for a tougher speech about Iraq that the president is to deliver to the United Nations General Assembly the following day.
White House officials said they began planning more intensively for the Iraq rollout in July, even as Mr. Bush was busy responding to the summer’s corporate scandals. Advisors consulted the Congressional calendar to figure out the best time for Iraq hearings while Ms. Hughes, even as she was driving back to Texas, discussed with Mr. Bush the outlines of his Sept. 11 speech.

By August, with Congress out of town and the United Nations not convening until September, White House officials decided to wait out the month, even as final planning continued by phone between advisors in Washington and at Mr. Bush’s ranch in Texas.

“There was a deliberate sense that this was not the time to engage in his process,” Mr. Rove said. “The thought was in August the president is sort of on vacation.” [...]

"Sort of" like now, and every other August of his pampered life. Let's hope they don't have any new products planned for rollout in two weeks.

crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE (

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The quote of the week. Senior officials are "Shedding the Unreality" about Iraq while Bush is on vacation

"U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq"
The Washington Post, 14 Aug 05:
'What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground,' said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. 'We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.'
Who is this "Senior Official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion"? Is it a name we would know? Could it be a former member of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) that sold us this war with falsified information? Shouldn't there be a journalistic rule that all these names need to become public eventually, like, in say 5 years, or 10 years after the official leaves office? Just so there's some accountability for these statements?

Is this Senior Official going off message while his/her boss is on vacation, or is this the new message of lowered expectations? Are we now prepared to leave a cauldron of warring ethnic and religious pseudo-states in place of what was Iraq, with our only accomplishment being "at least we got rid of Saddam" (cf. Yugoslavia after Tito, but 10 times worse)?
Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Two roads from nowhere

Something about the composition of this strange image of Rummy, Condi, and Dummy last week walking from nowhere at the Crawford ranch (trying their best to ignore the mother camped outside their gate and the war that forced her to visit their little corner of hell) reminded me strongly of one the the most famous war images of all time.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Satyagraha -- the word of the day from the True Blue Liberal dictionary

I received a reminder today that a company I deal with in India will be closed on Monday the 15th to commemorate the day in 1947 when India finally won its independence from Britain. What a great historical lesson. In the middle of a century that saw the most violent wars and the most destructive weapons in human history, we saw the most populous democracy in the world freed by nonviolence, by a brilliant but simple man who never wavered from his goal, or from the nonviolent means to his end. And here's the most heartening part of Gandhi's story, at least to me. He did not operate in a vacuum. He looked backward to Thoreau, the later Tolstoy, Christ, and his own religious tradition, and he had important descendants in the second half of the 20th Century in King and Mandela and millions of other peace activists and civil rights activists around the world. And his model is seen again in Crawford, Texas this week. These are the people I support. These are my ancestors. These are the people who make me proud to be human.

Gandhi did add a new word to the world's vocabulary with his successful technique of Satyagraha. Click on the preceding sentence, or click on the lengthy Wikipedia attempt at a definition which includes this summary:
Translators have rendered the word satyagraha as "civil disobedience", "passive resistance", "truth force", or "the willingness to endure great personal suffering in order to do what's right". English-speakers may also use the term "non-violent protest". The literal translation however will be sat(truth)+ aagraha(persuade) = sadagraha.
and this quotation from the man himself:
Satyagraha is utter self-effacement, greatest humiliation, greatest patience and brightest faith. It is its own reward.
Satyagraha is a relentless search for truth and a determination to reach truth.
It is a force that works silently and apparently slowly. In reality, there is no force in the world that is so direct or so swift in working.
Satyagraha literally means insistence on truth. This insistence arms the votary with matchless power. This power or force is connoted by the word satyagraha. Satyagraha, to be genuine, may be offered against parents, against one's wife or one's children, against rulers, against fellow-citizens, even against the whole world.
To give an idea of the concept's complexity, see Gandhi's epigrams about it on this page at
*Satyagraha as conceived by me is a science in the making.
*It is claimed for satyagraha that it is a complete substitute for violence or war.
This is not George Bush's world. It's our world as long as we remain true to the great tradition that gave us Gandhi and King and Mandela and ...
Have a wonderful peaceful weekend,
True Blue Liberal


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sacrilege is like obscenity, you may not be able to define it, but you will know it when you see it . . .

... and This Is It!

If Dante were writing today, within which ring of hell would he place Donald Rumsfeld?

WHIG of the Week -- Stephen J. Hadley, National Security Advisor and member of the White House Iraq Group, meets with Cindy Sheehan

We summed up last week's WHIG of the week with the transcript of a conversation between Jim Wilkinson and a woman from Texas named Brenda in which all the White House Iraq Group talking points were ably parroted. This week our WHIG of the week was the presidential surrogate sent out to placate the woman who is being called "... the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement," by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus. "She's tired, fed up and she's not going to take it anymore, and so now we stand with her." That quote comes from a story on as does this summary of her meeting with Stephen J. "Steve" Hadley. - Soldier's mom protests near Bush's ranch - Aug 6, 2005
Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns.

Appreciative of their attention, yet undaunted, Sheehan said she planned to continue her roadside vigil, except for a few breaks, until she gets to talk to Bush. Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.

"They (the advisers) said we are in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the world's a better place with Saddam gone and that we're making the world a safer place with what we're doing over there," Sheehan said in a telephone interview after the meeting. [emphasis added]
Compare that summary of Whig Hadley's remarks above to Whig Wilkinson's remarks quoted last week.

Here's a short first-hand, and slightly more opinionated, account of the meeting taken from a post by TXSharon on Daily Kos:
Like something out of a movie, a caravan of suburbans, vans, and cars swooped upon us and with synchronized precision, SS agents got out of the vehicles and surrounded us. It was eerie, frightening, and thrilling! Two men who appeared quite important walked up to Cindy. Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs played good cop and sat on the pavement looking up at Cindy. Joseph W. Hagin, Deputy Chief of Staff was the bad cop so he sat in one of the chairs we had brought. They went through the same old trite bullshit party line spiel we have all heard a million times! The only problem is that Cindy is fully informed, intelligent, quick-witted, calm and focused, and disarming in her honesty and directness. Effortlessly, she made them look as foolish as they are!

Hadley reminded her that the Iraqis could now vote. She showed him Casey's pictures, told him that she had give birth to him after carrying him for nine months. That she had nursed him for over a year. She said a few more things about Casey then asked Hadley if he thought she had gone through all that so Iraqis could vote. She cried just a little and everyone was quite touched. We applauded for her several times during their meeting.
The Rosa Parks analogy might not be as farfetched as it first appears. Rosa Parks hasn't always been "ROSA PARKS." She wasn't always a heroine of American history. She was a woman who wanted to take a seat on the bus. She started her life as one of millions of African Americans subjected to apartheid regulations that many white Americans saw as reasonable, or at least traditional and acceptable. She never could have anticipated how she would become a symbol for millions because of her ability to show a clear injustice in simple terms. And the White House Iraq Group, with all its abilities to fix intelligence, stay on message, catapult propaganda, and create media echo chambers, may be no match for one mother who wants to know why her son died.

Crossposted from Whiggate Update (


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's not too early to start promoting the events of September 24-26 in DC. If Cindy can go to Crawford in summer, we can march on the Mall in the fall

Around other blogs on this, Cindy Sheehan, week, I've seen some commenters questioning what they can do to support her, or to show their opposition to the war that killed her son (and the sons and daughters of many other Iraqi, American, British, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Hungarian, Italian, Kazakh, Latvian, Polish, Salvadoran, Slovakian, Spanish, Thai, and Ukrainian mothers). Someone even mentioned the possibility of organizing a massive march on Washington, as if they didn't know that this one is already in the advanced planning stages .
This march against the war has been in the preparation stages by United for Peace and Justice for awhile, but the word doesn't seem to be spreading quickly enough.
This group did a wonderful job on the major marches in New York City right before the current war began on February 15, 2003 in the neighborhood of the UN, and a month later, after the war began, marching from Herald Square to Washington Square Park. Hundreds of thousands of us have wonderful memories of both those days (even if we were ignored by the media, and by a President who called us a focus group unworthy of his attention).
Even if you can't make it yourself, you can help them spread the word on your blogs and webpages and emails. There are banners here. Please consider adding one to your sidebar for the next month and a half.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Quote of the Day (from Cindy Sheehan's Crawford Diary on Daily Kos)

Daily Kos: Day 3 of the Peace Occupation of Crawford:
". . . Another big story that was going on today was about my first meeting with Bush in June of 2004. For you all I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I did meet with George, and that is not a secret. I have written about it and been interviewed about it. I will stand by my recounting of the meeting. His behavior was rude and inappropriate. My behavior in June of 2004 and is irrelevant to what is going on in 2005. I was in deep shock and deep grief. The grief is still there, but the shock has worn off and the deep anger has set in. And to remind everybody, a few things have happened since June of 2004: The 9/11 commission report; the Senate Intelligence report; the Duelfer WMD report; and most damaging and criminal: the Downing Street Memos. The VERY LAST THING I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS IS: Why do the right wing media so assiduously scrutinize the words of a grief filled mother and ignore the words of a lying president?"

Why Indeed?

Nothing scares the party of phony phamily values more than a real mother with her grief and anger

Matt Drudge and other bloggers on the Right (and their swift-boat shocktroops who made their presence known in the comments section of my first post on Cindy Sheehan) have been quick to point to an article from 2004 in which Ms Sheehan said not-unpleasant things about the President:
"It drew on quotes from a Sheehan interview published June 24, 2004, in The Reporter. Cindy Sheehan told reporter David Henson that she and husband debated before the meeting whether to ask pointed questions about the war and whether to vent their frustration over their son's sacrifice. Ultimately, they chose not to."
So, because the Sheehans chose not to say critical things to or about the President immediately after the shock of their son's death, she is being roundly criticized by the Right for speaking out now? In the New World Order® you are dismissed whether you were against the war from the beginning ( like Conyers, Rangel, Dean, Corzine, Kennedy, Byrd and millions of others), or whether you came to that view late like Kerry and Sheehan, after the revelations about missing WMDs, or phantom yellowcake uranium from Niger, or The Downing Street Memo, or the WHIGs, or the insider books of Paul O'Neill and Joseph Wilson and Richard Clarke, or a thousand other pieces of damning evidence, large and small.
"Sheehan, in a press release distributed Monday by the Institute for Public Accuracy, explained she was 'still in shock' during her 2004 meeting with the president.
'We had decided not to criticize the president then because during that meeting he assured us, 'This is not political.' And I believed him,' Sheehan wrote. 'Then, during the Republican National Convention, he exploited those meetings to justify what he was doing. It's now clear to me that what I had feared is true: Bush lied us into war, and Casey, more than 1,800 other Americans and thousands and thousands of Iraqis are dead because of what he did.'"
Remind me never to say anything uncritical about the current President. I don't want it held against me at a later date.

The people in power in this country have built their power base on the appeal to phony phamily values among those with whom they share no real economic interests. There is no more direct attack on that base of their power than a movement of mothers and families united in real grief, in real anger, in real opposition to their anti-family anti-environmental anti-human policies.

So, what does Rush Limbaugh tell you to say about that?

update 12:56pm: The Green Knight says a similar thing much better here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's trip to Crawford, Texas -- as covered by The Lone Star Iconoclast

Please click here for more pictures and a blow-by-blow first impression of Cindy Sheehan's arrival in Crawford Texas on August 6 to confront the vacationing President Bush about the war that killed her son.
I've said all along that this is the reason our brave Flyboy-in-Chief hasn't gone to any of the 1,800+ funerals of Americans killed in Viet... Iraq - - uncontrollable next-of-kin. And even if the parents and siblings could be properly vetted by Diebold to insure that they voted correctly in the last election, there's no telling when some mad uncle or cousin or old girlfriend isn't going to stand up from their pew and start asking uncomfortable questions about Downing Street Memos and sexed-up intelligence and the relative worths of blood and oil or the President's own inability to serve in the war that he supported and that he was trained to fight.
No, we'd better keep him protected from the tens of thousands of close friends and relatives of the men and women who have died and are still dying for unknown reasons (because it's no longer about the nonexistent WMDs, and maybe it never was). We'd better keep him secluded behind layers of security and sycophants whether he's in DC or Crawford or on the road with the Privatize Social Security tour. We better make sure that he doesn't hear or read anything that hasn't been filtered through Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. We wouldn't want to upset him by letting Cindy Sheehan continue:
“I didn’t come all this way from California to stand here in a ditch,” said Cindy Sheehan, 48, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, attempting to continue her trek to the ranch.
Even though two of the President’s aides later agreed to deliver her message to him, Sheehan said that she would remain in Crawford for the whole month, if need be, until she is granted a private audience with the commander-in-chief to ask him for what “noble cause” did her son die overseas.
“If he doesn’t come out to talk to me in Crawford, I’ll follow him to D.C., and I’ll camp out on his lawn,” she said, to a round of applause from her supporters. “I’ll go to prison. I don’t want to live in a country where people are treated this way.”
Sheehan’s actions, she said, were sparked by President Bush’s comments like those made last Wednesday in Grapevine to about 1,800 members of the American Legislative Exchange Council: “Our men and women who’ve lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and in this war on terror have died in a noble cause and a selfless cause.”
“We all know by now that that’s not true, and I want to ask George Bush, ‘Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he died for?’” said Sheehan. “I don’t want [President Bush] to use my son’s name or my family name to justify any more killing or to exploit my son’s name, my son’s sacrifice, or my son’s honor to justify more killing. As a mother, why would I want one more mother to go through what I’m going through, Iraqi or American?
“And I want to tell him that the only way to honor my son’s sacrifice is to bring the troops home now.”
Please read the rest, spread the word, and check elsewhere for updates,


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Pick up your guitar and play this simple song by Bonnie Dobson in honor of the 60th anniversary of the nuclear bomb's first victims

D                  C       G      D
Walk me out in the morning dew my honey,
Walk me out in the morning dew today.
F C Em D
I can't walk you out in the morning dew my honey,
F C Em D
I can't walk you out in the morning dew today.

I thought I heard a baby cry this morning,
I thought I heard a baby cry today.
You didn't hear no baby cry this morning,
You didn't hear no baby cry today.

Where have all the people gone my honey,
Where have all the people gone today.
There's no need for you to be worrying about all those people,
You never see those people anyway.

I thought I heard a young man moan this morning,
I thought I heard a young man moan today.
I thought I heard a young man moan this morning,
I can't walk you out in the morning dew today.

Walk me out in the morning dew my honey,
Walk me out in the morning dew today.
I'll walk you out in the morning dew my honey,
I guess it doesn't really matter anyway,
I guess it doesn't matter anyway,
I guess it doesn't matter anyway,
Guess it doesn't matter anyway.
Thanks to Bonnie Dobson for writing it, to the Grateful Dead for giving it life, and to for the lyrics and chords.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Clean Dark Complexity (or is that the Clean Dark Complexion?) of True Blue Liberal's Wit

Previous on-line non-scientific tests have shown True Blue Liberal to be an Existentialist, a Communist, and a Grammar God. To that profile you can now add .....

the Wit
(60% dark, 39% spontaneous, 16% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're
probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You
realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons'
philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most
other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most.
You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer
or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate,
but it's also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 75% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

Thursday, August 04, 2005

WHIG of the Week -- James R. "Jim" Wilkinson, Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications and Presidential Propaganda Catapulter

In the earliest versions of the Gilligan's Island theme song, the Professor and Mary Ann are dismissed in the phrase "... and the rest"; in any list of the members of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), two names, Nicholas E. Calio and James R. Wilkinson, fade against the prominence of Rove, Rice, Card, Hughes, and Matalin. Maybe I was too hasty in replacing their names with an et al. in the sidebar of Whiggate Update. Maybe their days of fame are still to come.
Our WHIG of the Week shows his qualifications as a team player in this Bullet Point Answer to a Bullet Point "Question" about Iraq during James R. "Jim" Wilkinson's "Ask the White House" session of February 6, 2004:
Brenda, from Fort Worth, Tx writes:
Something to ponder... Osama Bin Laden attacked the United States and killed many innocent victims on 911 without the use of weapons of mass destruction or chemical warfare.
That act cost the United States and it's citizens billions of dollars, not to mention the families that lost loved ones on that horrible day.
With that memory, how can Americans be upset with President Bush's decision to pursue Saddam Hussain? September 11 proved to Americans that it does not take weapons of mass destruction or chemical warfare to cripple the United States.
Mr. Hussain has the proven ability to gather forces to pursue deadly interests in the United States and has continued to be a threat to our safety.
I commend Mr. Bush's decision to pursue and capture Mr. Hussain.
I am anxious to see the day that Bin Laden is brought to justice. Until then, it is nice to know that we finally have a president that is making a positive impact on the safety of the United States.
Blessings, Brenda Lungrin

Jim Wilkinson
Brenda, thanks for your question[sic].
As President Bush said after September 11, the war on terror is a different kind of war against a different kind of enemy. And as the President said today, he will not take risks with the lives and security of the American people by assuming the goodwill of dictators.
The decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision. September 11 taught us that we must confront threats to our Nation before it is too late.
Saddam repeatedly defied the international community -- ignoring the demand of the United Nations and 17 UN resolutions.
He had large quantities of WMD that he failed to account for.
Saddam stonewalled inspectors, played cat and mouse games with the UN, and then threw the inspectors out of Iraq.
Saddam used WMD on his own people and against his neighbors.
Saddam was a threat to the stability of the region, and a threat to his neighbors.
War was President Bush's last option. That's why he exhausted diplomatic options, to include giving Saddam Hussein one more warning, and yet another UN resolution. Given this final chance, Saddam chose defiance, and he chose war.
Saddam Hussein and his regime were a threat to our nation, and our nation is safer with his regime out of power and with Saddam sitting in a jail cell.
Removing his regime was the right decision then, and it is the right decision now.

It was their story in September of 2002 when they launched their new product (and only the WHIGs and their bosses knew for sure that they were lying), and it was their story in February 2004, even after everyone but "Brenda" from "Fort Worth" knew they were telling untruths. Big lies and corporate PowerPoint presentations require constant repetition ("Saddam stonewalled inspectors..", "He had a large quantity of WMD...","...our nation is safer with his regime out of power... ", "War was President Bush's last option.") and you have to give Jim Wilkinson a lot of credit for repeating these points as single-mindedly as his simple-minded boss who told us in a moment of candor, "... you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." Jim is a very consistent team player for the WHIGs. This particular "question" and answer is an archetype of all the public WHIG statements about the invasion of Iraq (wouldn't you love to know what they were saying in private? We know Patrick Fitzgerald would).
Here are a couple of actual questions. How much longer will the American people consent to being treated like idiots? Or can they continue to treat us like idiots as long as they want ... as long as they can keep us scared?
Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

crossposted from WHIGGATE UPDATE


He wants to be a War President, not a Global Struggle President

President Makes It Clear: Phrase Is 'War on Terror'
- New York Times
- 4 August 2005:
GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 - President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, 'Make no mistake about it, we are at war.'

In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase 'war on terror' no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the 'global struggle against violent extremism,' the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.

In recent public appearances, Mr. Rumsfeld and senior military officers have avoided formulations using the word 'war,' and some of Mr. Bush's top advisers have suggested that the administration wanted to jettison what had been its semiofficial wording of choice, 'the global war on terror.'

In an interview last week about the new wording, Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush's national security adviser [and White House Iraq Group (WHIG) member], said that the conflict was 'more than just a military war on terror' and that the United States needed to counter 'the gloomy vision' of the extremists and 'offer a positive alternative.'

But administration officials became concerned when some news reports linked the change in language to signals of a shift in policy. At the same time, Mr. Bush, by some accounts, told aides that he was not happy with the new phrasing, a change of tone from the wording he had consistently used since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It is not clear whether the new language embraced by other administration officials was adopted without Mr. Bush's approval or whether he reversed himself after the change was made. Either way, he planted himself on Wednesday firmly on the side of framing the conflict primarily in military terms and appeared intent on emphasizing that there had been no change in American policy.

'We're at war with an enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001,' Mr. Bush said in his address here, to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of state legislators. 'We're at war against an enemy that, since that day, has continued to kill.' [....]

Make no mistake about it, we're NOT at war. I remember when I was growing up, the point was always made that we were not officially at war in Korea or Vietnam despite the carnage. They were "police actions." We were taught in the sixties that no formal Declaration of War had been issued by the United States since December 8, 1941. And none has been issued since then. He can't call it a War, a term with much legal weight, just because the Congress has abdicated all its powers. So how about calling him the "Police Action President"?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

In the Red Zone

Stephen Vincent, the author of this blog, In the Red Zone, was just killed in Iraq.

14 more Marines and their interpreter were also killed today.

Maybe someday someone somewhere will try to explain why we really entered on this disastrous course of action in Iraq. Someone in the White House owes more than empty condolences and apologies to the tens of thousands of close relatives of the vital young Americans who are no longer with us (we won't hold our breath for any acknowledgment by them of damage done to Iraqi citizens by this unnecessary war).

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Rafael Palmeiro's federal campaign contributions -- George W. Bush gets maximum contribution from baseball's latest steroid policy violator

Click Here: "NEWSMEAT - Rafael Palmiero's federal campaign contributions". Now that it involves one of his friends and contributors, I guess it's time for the President to show a little flexibility about steroids in the same way he's showing some flexibility about leaks of CIA agents' names.

And what's the link between prominent Republicans (Dole, Palmeiro, Major League Baseball, Nascar) and the paid promotion of Viagra? Did "Ambassador" John Bolton need such artificial chemical stimulants for his public erectile performances during his Plato's Retreat period? And is that why he's so anxious to move back to New York? Didn't anyone tell him it closed?
Just Asking,
True Blue Liberal

Buddy Jesus comes to life in Hoboken

New York Daily News - Regional - Wink and prayer in N.J.:
Scores of faithful Christians converged on Hoboken, N.J., yesterday to get a firsthand glimpse of a plaster statue of Jesus that enraptured witnesses say opened one of its eyes.
Anthony Purvis, 11, silently stared at the statue for about 90 seconds and then turned to four of his boisterous friends and said, 'If the other one pops open, I'm going to run. I'm out of here.'
Not to be left out of the new national tourist attraction craze of miraculous underpass stains that resemble the virgin mother of god and statues that bleed and speak, Hoboken now has its own winking Jesus, and I couldn't be prouder (or, like young Master Purvis, more frightened).

Monday, August 01, 2005

Note from TBL to the Member Nations of the UN: JOHN BOLTON DOES NOT REPRESENT ME (and he doesn't think much of you)

This man will be appointed by George Bush as the US Representative to the UN without congressional approval. We would have American troops in Cuba today looking for nonexistent biological WMDs if it were up to him.
He's a nut.
un john
If you are a representative of another nation at the United Nations, please know that he hates you, he has no respect for you, but take some solace in the fact that he has no support from the American Congress or the American people.
Snub him, as he would snub you,
True Blue Liberal

Update 11:50am on 8/1/05:
It's official. Bush has made the cowardly recess appointment of John Bolton to avoid any congressional scrutiny of his role in fixing intelligence about Iraq, making up fairy tales about Cuba, and filling in blanks, under oath, about the role of the Downing Street Memo and the actions of the White House Iraq Group.