Saturday, December 01, 2007

Weekend Odds and Ends

What a busy week. And we'll have to start another soon. Yikes! Here's the news...

Not the most encouraging sign just days after this week's summit: "In an about face, the United States on Friday withdrew a U.N. resolution endorsing this week's agreement by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008, apparently after Israel objected."

Remember that post I did on the GOP's use of racism? Here's more fun.

With the CNN/YouTube debate revealing the ugly side of the GOP base, conservatives are going back to the well... blaming media bias (omgz, they lets gay and muslims ask questions!!1). Meanwhile, Time magazine's Joe Klein observed a conservative focus group live reaction to the candidate. Money quote: "Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted." Ladies and gentleman, the grand old party.

(Apparently they mau-maued CNN enough to get the gay question cut from rebroadcasts)

Hey speaking of that ol' liberal media and Mr. Klein, here's an update! Klein's source on the anti-Dem FISA story he had to retract? It was crazy GOP Rep. Peter Hoekstra, who-- in 2006-- found the non-existent Iraqi WMDs with Rick Santorum. Definitely a guy whose spin you want to print without question.

And the Washington Post helps keep alive the Obama=Muslim right-wing meme with a front page story on the 'controversy'. Maybe they should address those rumors I just started that George Will eats babies.

Speaking of Sen. Obama, he was in my home town again, chillin' with Mikey Bloomberg and eating at Sylvia's with Al Sharpton (no, Bill O'Reilly wasn't invited). All that, and the cover of Time!

And some news from around the world... China is all grumpy with us and we don't know why; Venezuelans protest the dictatorial power-grabs of Hugo Chavez; Vladimir Putin scores electoral wins (all legit, no doubt); Race and poverty issues cause riots in France; and Sudan has some really crazy muslim fanatics.

Finally, are the days of the FEMA trailers in New Orleans coming to an end?

In Iraq Forever?

Permanent occupation? America using Iraq as a permanent base in the Middle East for its larger strategic goals? This, of course, has been all been dismissed as moonbat-ery by conservatives and pundits... which is why probably most of them ignored this story earlier this week-
Iraq's government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.

The proposal, described to The Associated Press by two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue, is one of the first indications that the United States and Iraq are beginning to explore what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence...

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute (remember him? he's the 'war czar'!) states that "It's not a treaty, but it's rather a set of principles from which to begin formal negotiations. Think of today's agreement as setting the agenda for the formal bilateral negotiations." Huh?

His specification that this is not a treaty is likely very, very deliberate. As James Boyce reminds us, the Constitution requires that treaties be ratified by the Senate. Which, of course, would never happen. So, it's not a 'treaty'. It's merely a 'set of principles from which to begin formal negotiations'! Good on you, Lt. Gen. Orwell!

(There's also the teeny matter that the Iraqi constitution-- remember that?-- requires that an agreement would have to approved by their Parliament. Their constitution probably means even less than ours now does, though.)

The White House has given a typical non-denial denial to all this speculation, of course.

TPMmuckraker takes a deeper look at this deal and why it is a disaster waiting to happen for Iraqi security... not to mention our position in the world. The U.S. military would, to whatever degree, remain the official police force for the struggling Iraqi government. That is a lose-lose by any intelligent standard.

If this happens, it will be (mostly) what the neocons wanted out of Iraq all along, however clumsily we got here. It's maddening how the only things they got right-- selling the invasion, ensuring we never leave-- are the parts that damage America and Iraq the most. And no one seems willing to push back against this tide.

Wouldn't it be nice if someday we ended a war on our own terms and then left the country to take care of itself (while still diplomatically/financially taking responsibility for our actions)? Edwards is right... no more Koreas.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Conservabot Says... More Tax Cuts, Bleep Blorp.

The other day, I called the modern conservative movement "a Mad Libs movement, [lazily] using the same outline, just filling in the blanks with new words to keep up with the times." The debate showed this again.

And one of my favorite Mad Libs books is The National Review's blog, The Corner(*)... home of daily Iran news round-ups, abortion fretting, and Battlestar Galactica discussion.

(*Also, did you know Greta Van Susteren and Geraldo Rivera are 'liberal Dems'? To Cornerites they are!)

Today I stumbled across a post by CNBC host Larry Kudlow entitled... 'It’s Time for Tax Cuts'. Isn't it always, Larry? Isn't it always?

Let's review this dogma... Economy doing good? Tax cuts! Economy doing bad? Tax cuts! Deficits? Tax cuts! Surplus? Tax cuts! Morning, noon, night? Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts!

In this post, Kudlow praises a Wall Street Journal column "on the threat of an economic downturn and the relevance of tax cuts to reignite the economy". He goes on to discuss how this magic pill will solve our economic woes... without directly acknowledging in his post the numerous circumstances and trends that have caused those woes. And he boasts cheerfully that "The real supply-side 'bang for the buck' comes at the top-end" of the economy (but of cour$e!), while conceding to throw the middle class a bone or two.

The latter part, apart from being such a cliche, ignores that the issues threatening said economic downturn-- the housing crisis, depressed wages, high home heating costs, etc etc-- are a strictly middle/lower-middle class problem, and those at the "top-end" of the economy don't need any help. They're the only ones who've seen their situation improve in recent years. But again, we're not having a real discussion, we're just filling in blanks on a pre-written script.

As for the other side of this debate, Kudlow is dismissive. "Democrats also will try and make the case that taxes should be cut for the so-called middle class, and raised on upper-income earners," he writes, "This is futile." As is resistance. Tax Cut Borg will assimilate you all.

I personally am praying for economic recovery. I'm sure Larry will be there then to insist on more tax cuts.

Holy Shit.

A man-- possibly strapped with a bomb-- has taken hostages at Sen. Clinton's NH campaign office, demanding to speak to her. I hope this ends safely, but expect this to dominate the headlines all day.

[UPDATE: The latest is it's over. All hostages are free; the man peacefully surrended.]

Rovisionist History

Karl Rove paraphrased: 'President Bush didn't want war with Iraq, Congress made him!!!'

Lord, if you're up there, please murder me. Kthanx.

Pssst... Progressive Means Liberal

The Center for American Progress is trying a new ad campaign to reboot that old liberal brand (like a fridge with a built-in TV, we're now better than ever). They've produced a series of 30-second ads meant to help Americans understand that, when the smoke clears, they have more in common with liberals/progressives than they think.

Here's ad #1-

And #2-

Which one do you think is more effective? I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy, I prefer the first one.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Odds and Ends

You know who I miss? Jon Stewart. Sigh. Anyway, here's the news...

Of Bernie Kerik's sins, one of the most disgusting was his taxpayer-funded love nest. It turns out that he and Rudy Giuliani have one more thing in common. Is this the scandal that begins his implosion? Color me skeptical there.

GOP authoritarianism watch, take 2,363: "Voters planning to vote in Virginia's Republican presidential primary will be required to sign an oath swearing their Republican loyalty." Loyalty oaths are, of course, nothing new for these modern Bush Republicans.

Safety tip for those in Muslim countries... don't name a teddy bear 'Muhammad'. It pisses them off!

A day or so after Pakistani prez Musharraf quit as army chief (becoming merely a militaristic civilian dictator instead of a military dictator), he also "promised Thursday to lift Pakistan's state of emergency on December 16." And TruthDig looks at the lackluster alternatives.

Speaking of crazy people, some conservatives worked themselves into a frenzy over a story via The Washington Times and Fox News about terrorists working with Mexican drug smugglers to blow up an Arizona army base! Like most of these stories, it turns out to have been bunk.

Paul Krugman continues to shake his head at the Social Security crisis-mongers.

Finally, as Bill O'Reilly releases his new book for kids, Tom Tomorrow sums him up.

Republicans vs. YouTube: The Debate (Pt. II)

Watching the CNN/YouTube debate was disturbing in some ways, but mostly solidified to me the crucial difference we have in our parties now. On the one hand we have an imperfect, but rational party who actually sound like adults. On the hand, we have another party of pandering authoritarians desperately trying to out-crazy each other to appeal to an ever-shrinking base.

The issues discussed were illuminating... although that was CNN's fault (they selected which videos/questions to present). Illegal immigration, abortion, guns, tax cuts, and the usual go-tos. Nothing on the following: an exit strategy for Iraq, health care reform, climate change, congressional corruption, wiretapping, Pakistan, Iran, globalization, etc. Now again, CNN made that call, but I don't recall any of the candidates interjecting these issues into the Q&As where they might've been relevant.

I live-blogged (well, chatted) this debate, and that can be read... here.

[PS- It's telling that this is what all the conservative sites are focusing on. Better that than the actual substance of the debate (or just the gay question), which'd be too depressing.

UPDATE: What Andrew Sullivan said here and here. Video highlights- on TPM's YouTube.]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Can A Liberal Be a Libertarian?

I found this interesting post on the different way that conservatives and liberals define the idea of libertarianism (even more relevant now, after tonight's debate). I guess if you boil it all down, the key difference depends on who you are seeking 'freedom' from. Conservatives define the enemy as government all together; liberals define it as run-amok corporatism and government moralizers.

I would never describe myself as a libertarian, but I appreciate these distinctions. They speak to the reality that liberals see the government as playing an important role in our society (regulatory functions, providing a social safety net for those the free market leaves behind, controlling the basic infrastructure holding our society together), while also wanting to stay away from our personal lives and decisions-- ie. who we marry, our day-to-day actions, etc.

I find traditional, conservative libertarianism to be too paranoid on one hand (the government is coming to steal your money/guns/etc) and naive on the other hand (believing a deregulated free-market-- what I see as corporate anarchy-- will lift us all up, if we just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps). Unlike a true liberal government (the immediate post-New Deal era was the closest we've had, though the larger society was still prejudiced at the time), we've actually had this type of society in the past. It was a complete disaster.

I wish the larger liberal/Democratic movement was better at articulating these distinctions.

Republicans vs. YouTube: The Debate

Tonight, live on CNN, is the Republican YouTube debate. I am sure all those old white men are looking forward to answering questions from a talking snowman or a 'Family Guy' clip. It begins at 8pm EST.

In all seriousness, The Anonymous Liberal posts a number of great video submissions he found, most of which probably won't make it on air because the quality is a bit off. The questions themselves, however, are spot on.

And a young chap named Christopher Dodd submits a question. I know him from somewhere.

Your Liberal Media, In a Nutshell

Every once in a while, an example of media stupidity comes along that helps illustrate their larger journalistic failures. Time magazine's Joe Klein has provided such an example.

A little over a week ago, Mr. Klein wrote an article for the magazine entitled 'The Tone-Deaf Democrats'. It was an article about how foolish Democrats were to be giving the Republicans a hard time on the latest FISA update, in which Dems are seeking to restore the basic oversight/warrant procedures that have been stripped from our spying laws since 9/11 (those monsters!!1!!). Democrats were 'stumbling on national security', a photo caption concluded. While pretending to be outraged about the administration's post-9/11 abuses, Klein mostly chastises the Democrats for not being cooperative enough with those nice Republicans whose abuses congressional leaders would like to correct.

The article also contained numerous factual inaccuracies. Klein wrote that the Democrats' bill "would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans," huffing that this "is well beyond stupid." It might be stupid... if it were true. It's not; the bill does no such thing. He also writes at the end that "when the President takes the oath of office, he (or she) promises two things: to protect the Constitution and to protect the nation against enemies, foreign and domestic. If the Democrats can't find the proper balance between those two, they simply will not win the presidency." This is also-- wait for it-- not true. Here is the oath every President takes-
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

That's it. Yes, we all want our leaders to keep us safe, but it's not in the oath.

Glenn Greenwald called Joe Klein out on this mess of a column, explaining point-by-point why he was wrong (shorter summary of said smackdown-- here). Greenwald even-- get this!-- read the bill to see what it actually does.

Greenwald kept at it, and eventually Klein (indirectly) responded on Time's blog, admitting that a) his sources on the story were mainly Republicans, b) he hadn't contacted the Democratic leadership to clarify matters, and c) he hadn't read the bill he was reporting on. You know, journalism.

He then goes on to (again) declare himself Mr. Bipartisan, by decreeing a good 'compromise' would be Republicans agreeing to "basket warrants" (a meaningless concept) while Democrats would agree to give retroactive immunity to the telecom companies who aided the administration's illegal program. This, he says, would help America "get past the cynicism and partisan mistrust cultivated by"... the same administration whose demands he's asking Democrats to capitulate to. Got it?

In his latest attempt at face-saving, Klein gives up all pretense of dignity, insisting that "I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right" in this debate... but apparently he felt confident enough in the matter to write a full-length column about it for Time f'ing Magazine. He states that, on this debate, "A court would probably have to make that determination if the House Democratic bill ever became law. But it won't." And with that, I assume Klein took his ball and went home (Time's editors are refusing to comment).

This, ladies and gentlemen, is your 'liberal media' in action. God bless America.

[UPDATE: I see Time has (finally) corrected the original story. And it's pretty half-assed.]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What He Said

Expanding on that last Iraq post, Matthew Yglesias has a good take on the insanity of the latest cheerleading rhetoric toward Iraq. First, he wonders-- as all good moonbats do-- why spending trillions on never-ending war doesn't get the same level of scrutiny as say... S-CHIP or farm subsidies. He writes-
"The American political system seems to operate as if spending on defense-related ventures doesn't come at a real cost. Propose a new domestic spending initiative, and people want to hear about your offsets. If you don't have offsets, you need new taxes. And you can't raise taxes. If you want to cut taxes, you can probably get away with it, but you'll face at least some political resistance. Defense spending, though, doesn't count -- it's completely shielded from scrutiny and we think nothing of tossing $10 billion here and $10 billion there until the end of time."

This is a key point that needs making. President Bush's vetoes of bills like S-CHIP or the Water Resources Development Act (the latter veto was overridden) are always based on his supposed fiscal responsibility, and discussion by politicians and pundits on where the funding for these programs is gonna come from.

But when the monstrously larger defense/war spending bills-- Bush's latest $46 billion request for the next six months of war is $11 billion more than the S-CHIP expansion would've cost total over five years-- are put forth (which seems to occur at least every six months), no one asks these questions. It's magic money; it comes from the war fairy. And question the necessity of such spending? Why then, you're a Communist sympathizer terrorist-loving troop hater. Same as it ever was.

Finally, Yglesias on the real goal of the surge and its success-
"In late 2005 and throughout 2006, it looked like we had a situation where the American mission in Iraq was going to become untenable. In early 2007, we were promised a 'surge' whose purpose was to make the American mission in Iraq unnecessary. It was going to create a security environment conducive to the creation of a political settlement, thus allowing for the withdrawal of American troops. It didn't happen. And it's not clear that anyone ever believed it would happen. Instead, it's created a situation where it now once again looks -- as it did in 2003 and 2004 -- that we might be able to stay in Iraq forever. And, of course, if you don't consider financial costs to be costs, and don't consider small numbers of casualties to be costs, and don't believe in opportunity costs, and try not to worry to much about the risk of war with Iran, and don't mind the lack of benefits except to the egos of the war's supporters, then this looks like a pretty smart policy."

It's all about kicking that can down the road. Where's the can headed? No one seems to care.

Meanwhile, In Ummm, Maryland...

Pessimistic me doesn't believe this will fare better than previous such attempts (it's been 13 years since Rabin, Peres, and Arafat won a Peace Prize for the Oslo Accords), but a return to negotiation is better than fighting.

From the AP: 'Sealing their pledge with an awkward handshake, Israeli and Palestinian leaders resolved Tuesday to immediately restart moribund peace talks... Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, troubled leaders with fragile mandates for peace, told international backers and skeptical Arab neighbors that they are ready for hard bargaining toward an independent Palestinian homeland, a deal that has long eluded Mideast leaders and American presidents.' Said our President, "This is the beginning of the process, not the end of it." Indeed.

Iraq and Security... A Fair and Balanced Look

As I noted two weeks ago, the latest mantra from the right is that recent military gains in certain areas of Iraq is proof that a) we are finally winning in Iraq (not that we ever weren't, in their view), that b) this vindicates the Bush/Cheney foreign policy; and that c) suck it, libtards. Outlets like the NY Post have been touting this line, though admittedly their letter section today gives a genuinely balanced assessment of public opinion on this.

Here is the NY Times article that war supporters have been rallying around-
As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

OmG, Democrats are running scared! Take that, Defeatocrats!

Of course, while any good news from Iraq is a welcome reprieve from the standard carnage, this is misleading. War critics have always heaped praise on the troops for the thankless task they're doing, but have pointed out that in the end, this is beside the point. The larger political picture (which this paragraph seems to dismiss) is still growingly bleak, something for which we've never had a strategy. We still can't force democracy at the end of a gun, and you still can't occupy a country into submission. Bringing violence down in Baghdad to early 2006 levels (when we seemed to consider things to be bad) doesn't change that.

(And I'd add it's insulting to say discussing the economy and health-care is a distraction.)

Furthermore, an escalation of forces may indeed create (temporary) security in the areas where escalation occurred, but-- especially with the 'surge' troop levels ready to collapse by spring-- this is a stopgap measure. This is also hardly the first up or down we've had in terms of violence or attacks, which the article does acknowledge, stating "there is no assurance that the ebbing of violence is more than a respite or represents a real trend that could lead to lasting political stability or coax those who have fled the capital to return to their homes. Past military successes have faded with new rounds of car bombings and kidnappings, like the market bombing that killed at least eight on Friday in Baghdad."

And here are some other NY Times articles I oddly didn't see linked on Drudge. First-
By all accounts, Iraqi families who fled their homes in the past two years are returning to Baghdad.

The description of the scope of the return, however, appears to have been massaged by politics...

...Under intense pressure to show results after months of political stalemate, the government has continued to publicize figures that exaggerate the movement back to Iraq and Iraqis’ confidence that the current lull in violence can be sustained...

...But in interviews, officials from the ministry acknowledged that the count covered all Iraqis crossing the border, not just returnees. “We didn’t ask them if they were displaced and neither did the Interior Ministry,” said Sattar Nowruz, a spokesman for the Ministry of Displacement and Migration.

'Massaging' the facts? Say, that's how we got into this war in the first place! Fun!

And another-- much more relative, and more telling-- article-
With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote...

...“I think reconciliation will eventually come,” a senior Bush administration official said, but added, “That’s a long way down the path.”

Long way down the path? Odd, that part seems to have been lost in all the cheering.

[PS- John Bentley, commenting at Washington Monthly, has some other good questions to ask the cheerleaders.]

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

Before I tackle Iraq, news from that other war we've been fighting for 6+ years (!)-
A White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan has concluded that wide-ranging strategic goals that the Bush administration set for 2007 have not been met, even as U.S. and NATO forces have scored significant combat successes against resurgent Taliban fighters, according to U.S. officials...

Ok, so business as usual then? Great! See you in another 6 years.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quote of the Day

"He was very gracious in setting up the meeting and it was a very good and substantive conversation. And that's all I want to say about it."
--Al Gore, on his meeting today with President Bush at the White House.

The President had invited all the 2007 Nobel Prize winners for a congratulatory photo-op. But Bush and Gore had a private 40-minute meeting in the Oval Office. No word on who blinked first.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Odds and Ends

A lot of Iraq news this week, which I will tackle tomorrow. Until then, here's other news...

Tomorrow is a "major Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md. ... to launch the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians of Bush's nearly seven years in office, and has attracted Arab and other outside backing." The Washington Note's Steve Clemons looks at the stakes.

Is the military asking wounded soldiers unable to complete their tours to return their signing bonuses? It seems so, but the army is backtracking. OmgZ, support the troops!1!

As the U.S. dollars hits record lows, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warns of a 'deepening crisis' and potential recession. Meanwhile, the issue(s) of wealth and class is becoming a big one for the Democrats.

The AP reports that FEMA was not the first Bush agency to hold a staged press conference.

Scientists warn that the poor will get hit the worst as everything "from meat, poultry and milk to potatoes, onions and leafy greens, everything consumed on the world's dining tables is feeling the heat from climate change." Yay!

The NY Post dismisses reality as a 'conspiracy theory'.

Finally, Karl Rove has advice for Republicans... run away from President Bush!

Ahhh Racism, The Good Ol' Days

Perhaps subconsciously anticipating Trent Lott's retirement announcement this morning, blogger Matthew Yglesias wrote an interesting post-- entitled 'The White Supremacist Caucus'-- on the strong, pre-civil rights coalition of southern Democrats (read: racists) who played an important role in bipartisan cooperation in Congress... particularly as their voters moved toward the Republicans following the Democratic leadership's embrace of civil rights. He discusses how the collapse of this coalition took a lot longer than most remember, well past the 1960s.

The subject of how the political base for this movement went over to the GOP is a major theme of Paul Krugman's book on the rise and fall (and return, he naively believes) of the liberal New Deal coalition-- 'The Conscience of a Liberal' (halfway done reading!). In his chapter on the rise of movement conservatism starting in 1964, he looks at how the movement used distractionary, wedge issues to drive away voters from the Democratic party. Today these issues are terrorism, gay marriage, and illegal immigration (abortion is fading fast as an issue)... but back then, race (and civil rights backlash) was the issue.

While earlier conservatives-- ie. William Buckley in the National Review-- were overt in their support for segregationist policies and/or support for subverting the will of the majority when 'necessary', success came when leaders learned to hide these ideas behind a populist message. He uses the rise of Ronald Reagan to illustrate how this worked, as seen in this video clip.

(UPDATE: This video is down now, but here's a similar one on the issue)

Reading these quotes in the book (from Reagan and others in the '60s), it's amazing how many of these examples are still thrown around lazily by conservatives today... the welfare mama and her Cadillac, the socialist big-government liberals taxing/stealing your hard-earned money to give to lazy poor people, using 'state rights' as a way of supporting bigotry (race issues then, gay issues now), etc. It's a Mad Libs movement, using the same outline, just filling in the blanks with new words to keep up with the times.

As I've noted before, Krugman sees the 2006 election as the death knell for this movement, and the beginning for a realignment of the Democratic Party back to its New Deal roots. I'll wait and see who gets elected in 2008 before I join him there. And not just the Presidency either (Sen. Clinton would, of course, represent the status quo-- not change-- if nominated), but House and Senate newcomers as well. We'll need a lot more Jim Webbs and Jon Testers to offset the complacent Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer types before I am ready to truly celebrate.

What Great News To Wake Up To

No reason is given yet, but Sen. Trent Lott will be retiring by the end of the year. Now he can spent more time with his family reminiscing about his old pal Strom Thurmond, and sitting on his porch with President Bush.

Lott is, by the way, the sixth Senate Republican to announce retirement this year... 16 or so in the House have also announced plans to retire. I guess being in the minority isn't fun. The lower amount of incumbents next year will definitely make for more interesting elections.

[UPDATE: This MSNBC report seems to find the reason why he wants out by the end of 2007... "the general speculation is that a quick departure immunizes Lott against tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. That law would require Senators to wait two-years before entering the lucrative world of lobbying Congress." What a true giant of a leader.

Flashback: Sen. Lott laments the new lobbying rules; threatens to eat dinner with his wife.]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bush/Cheney: Sweeping Reality Under The Rug Since 2001

Blogging's been light due to the holiday, but I will be back tomorrow in the swing of things. In the meantime, here is something to keep your anger sensors in overdrive until then.

Talking Points Memo/TPMmuckraker has spent the past several years cataloging and reporting on the misdeeds of our elected officials big and small, often outpacing their real media counterparts (its founder, Josh Marshall, just made GQ's Men of the Year list for his work in helping break the U.S. Attorneys story). In addition to individual stories, they have been keeping a comprehensive list of "this administration stifling government information." They have just published the updated list, with a new section on global warming.

It's a damning list, showing how the Bush crew's obsession with secrecy and obfuscation applies not only to 'national security' matters but also from everything from abstinence study findings to motor vehicle safety hazards info. Normally, this level of imperial hubris might have real-world consequences, but the liberal media decided that'd be partisan and rude, so discussion of all of this must be limited to the internet.

It'd be nice if said media-- instead of spending several hours a day debating who's up and down in Iowa-- would ask the prospective presidential candidates what they think of the issues addressed in this list. I'll begin holding my breath... now.