RKing's blog

Filtered news 9/13

Bush insanity watch  
ThinkProgress caught
Chris Matthews'
reaction to President Bush's claim that there are 36 nations
with troops on the ground today in Iraq. And we're curious too. What the hell is
the president talking about? Which countries are these? There are two countries
with a real troop presence in Iraq: the US and the UK. And the Brits make up
only a tiny fraction of the overall 'coalition' force. Early on there were
Spanish, Italians, Poles and a lot of other countries -- not with a lot of
troops but with enough to give some token international participation. But
pretty much all of those countries have left now.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67fzS3qgeRY

I know in the past the White House used to inflate these numbers by including
token commitments from former US Pacific Islands protectorates. Ten guys from
Micronesia. Three mechanics from the Solomon Islands.

Filtered news 9/12

Action alert
on the next war
Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. We need to let our representatives know that
Bush cannot
attack Iran
. GW will not go away quietly as his disastrous term comes to an
end. I think most of us believe Iran is the next target on Bush and Cheney’s
to-do list. Kristol, the equally insane Ledeen (read
this madness
) and all his Neocon, warmongering pals are pushing the White
House at every moment to make the attack happen. Adam Doster has some new
information on
plans to attack
. Here’s the Timesonline
piece
. Glenn Greenwald writes about the bomb Iran happy Washington Post’s
attacks on Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
whom
Hiatt labels “the Rogue Regulator.”
Go read Arthur
Silber

Now the president is asking Congress for another $50 billion for the War in
Iraq, which he will almost certainly be diverting to the attack on Iran….read
on

The best so far
Countdown’s #1 story on its special 9/11 edition was some of Keith Olbermann’s
best work to date. In this clip, he runs down the astonishing and outrageous
list of Bush administration lackeys who, instead of being demoted or fired for
their failures surrounding the September 11th attacks and the subsequent
invasion and occupation of Iraq, were promoted and awarded medals for those
failures. Keith ends the segment with the two main figures who haunt the memory
of 9/11 — George Bush and Osama bin Laden. video_wmvDownload
(4551) | Play
(6025) video_movDownload
(1959) | Play
(3543) (Read
the rest of this story…)

This is America? Law school dean fired for liberal ‘political views.’ About a
week ago, the new law school at the
University of California at Irvine hired Erwin Chemerinsky, a
well-known constitutional scholar, as the school’s inaugural Dean. But
yesterday, Michael V. Drake, Irvine’s chancellor, fired him, “saying that he had
not been aware of how Chemerinsky’s political views would make him a
target for criticism from conservatives
.” Chemerinsky confirmed
his firing
to the Wall Street Journal today:

Filtered news 9/5

You have no remaining credibility about Iraq,
sir.
Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment tonight is without a
doubt, one of his hardest hitting and most emotional to date. Keith absolutely
lays waste to President Bush’s lies and rhetoric about the surge. He contrasts
his callous disregard for the truth and the troops between his six
hour photo op in Iraq
and the
interview with Draper
released this weekend. This video is a must-see, hold
on to your hats.

video_wmvDownload
(1224) | Play

Filtered new 9/2

Pants down watch Does it seem like there’s a new Republican scandal in the news every single week? Well, that may be because there is: Following the GOP Scandals, 2007 edition.
GOP gets its marching orders for the next war Interesting Times: “Instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-president to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day
Time to write your senators: U.S. Military Censors ThinkProgress ThinkProgress is now banned from the U.S. military network in Baghdad. Recently, an avid ThinkProgress reader — a U.S. soldier serving his second tour in Iraq — wrote to us and said that he can no longer access ThinkProgress.org. The error message he received:
tpbann22.gif

Filtered news 8/30

But even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have
To stand naked.
-- Bob Dylan
Ed. Note -- I'm in that video somewhere. I've watched it a couple times and I couldn't see it - but I must be in that big flurry of people at the end.

How my other senator spends his time Looks like the diplo

matic mission to Hong Kong spearheaded by Senator Herb Kohl (D-Bucks) has paid off, and Yi Jianlian is going to play for Milwaukee after all. My God, but Kohl is such a total waste in the Senate.

Filtered news 8/29

As of today it's been 2,172 days since the president said he would get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive."   As Dr. Phil would ask: How's that workin' for ya?

Day 1.  On August 29, 2005, as George Bush displayed a lovely birthday cake he'd baked for John McCain, a giant category-3 fetus was terrorizing abortion clinics in New Orleans.  FEMA head Michael Brown, drawing on his vast experience in disaster management as former head of the Arabian Horse Association legal department, responded swiftly and surely:

Filtered news 8/27

Coup and counter coup It seems that a Frank Gaffney front organization published an article calling on President Bush to engineer a coup to make himself president for life, while Martin Lewis at the Huffington Post put out the call for General Pace and the Joint Chiefs to engineer a coup against the Bush administration.

I'm gonna go way out on a limb and say that neither of these are very good ideas. Meanwhile, Jamie Malanowki's new novel The Coup, involves a more clever (and funnier) method of toppling the incumbent. I do wonder sometimes what would happen if Bush did something really crazy like just call up the Joint Chiefs one day and order a preventive nuclear first strike (all the GOP contenders say it should be considered) on Iran without congressional authorization. Does the military follow that order?

Filtered news 8/23

Once again, Obama is the sensible one  Another outbreak of sanity from Obama sure too raise profound questions about whether he's ready to be president.  From the AP ...

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is leaping into the long-running Cuba debate by calling for the United States to ease restrictions for Cuban-Americans who want to visit the island or send money home.

Obama’s campaign said Monday that, if elected, the Illinois senator would lift restrictions imposed by the Bush administration and allow Cuban-Americans to visit their relatives more frequently, as well as ease limits on the amount of money they can send to their families.

Excellent court ruling! 

Filtered news 8/18 (forgot to post this then)

Slightly dated news, but still interesting. As always: no original reporting here. --RKing

Michelle Obama Speaks You listen… video_wmvDownload (2434) | Play (3095) video_movDownload (1126) | Play (1864)

Grrrl Power. Eighty-seven years ago today, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution---which would give women the right to vote---was ratified. It took the menfolk a mere 134 years to get their asses off the couch and make it a reality. Now if you'll just take out the garbage and fix the leak in the bathroom you might get some nookie.

Profiles in courage. A couple of folks died recently who deserve a fond goodbye toast. Photographer Joe O'Donnell was best known for capturing the moment when John Kennedy, Jr. saluted his father's coffin. But his most important photos were those he took---without the military's knowledge---of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. He later became a strong activist against nuclear weapons.

Filtered news 8/19

82nd Airborne blasts Bush Today, champions of the Bush administration's Iraq policy suffered another indignity with a powerful NYT op-ed from seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division, who will soon be returning home frustrated and jaded. Joe Klein said the troops' piece "puts to shame -- and shame is the appropriate word -- all the Kristol, McCain, Lieberman, Pollack and O'Hanlon etc etc cheerleading of the past two months." I think that's exactly right. From the op-ed:

Viewed from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. [...]

Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side. [...]

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are -- an army of occupation -- and force our withdrawal.

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