Thursday, March 27, 2008

Looking back

I sometimes enjoy rummaging through my old files of daily clippings (yes, I've been keeping them longer than I've been posting stuff here).

L'Affaire Schiavo
The answer lies not so much within Schiavo's brain as in the minds of those who observe her. As social beings, humans are hard-wired to examine another's face for clues to what the person behind it is thinking. They naturally associate vocal tones with specific moods. They detect meaningful words in nonsense utterances.
--ALLEN G. BREED and MATT CRENSON for Associate Press

News from Khartoum:
Sudan Police and Company Confiscate Episcopal Church Headquarters

Ils sont tous corrompus
Josh Marshall had this to share from the Herald-Tribune:
Mike Vasilinda, a 30-year veteran of the Tallahassee press corps, does public relations work and provides film editing services to more than a dozen state agencies.

His Tallahassee company, Mike Vasilinda Productions Inc., has earned more than $100,000 over the past four years through contracts with Gov. Jeb Bush's office, the Secretary of State, the Department of Education and other government entities that are routinely part of Vasilinda's stories.
"There is none that doeth righteousness; no, not one."

Les Nouvelles
Death Toll Jumps to 30 in Iraq Bombing [link on this one broken; sorry]
Guardian Unlimited - 53 minutes ago
By MARIAM FAM. BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi army recruiting center Monday in northern Iraq, killing at least 30 people and wounding 30 others, the Iraqi military said. A top Iraqi ...
Bomb explodes at US-Iraqi base in Mosul, 40 dead Khaleej Times
Iraqi bombing claims 40 News24

Liar in Chief
That is Georgia10's header for a post that included a transcript of a famous exchange between Helen Thomas and George W. Bush.
Q I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

Q Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

Q -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. [...]

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. [...] I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it. [link to White House transcript of press conference]
A second Downing Street Memo had just come out. Georgia10 goes on to say:
This document confirms what a hundreds of previous pieces of evidence confirm: the President is a liar. When he told us on March 6, 2003 that "I've not made up our mind about military action," he lied. When he told us two days before Shock & Awe "no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," he lied. When he told us that Saddam "abosolutely" had a banned weapons program, he lied. Whenever George W. Bush opened his mouth to talk about Iraq from Sept. 11, 2001 on, he lied. He lied and he lies to this very day.

Now, of course, we have documentation of what we then asserted with partial evidence. Yes, he lied us into war. We knew it back then. It is now demonstrable. But he still has not been held to account.
But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made it clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.
[read more here]

Richard of Peking Duck wrote:
In ordinary times, it would be a bombshell: A secret memo proves that our president told his people a series of lies leading to wanton and needless death and destruction. He had planned to wage his war no matter what, and was even prepared to create fake evidence to justify the invasion. It was never about unconventional weapons. The calls to disarm were bogus. It was to be war from day one. In ordinary times, he’d be impeached.
Things are going swimmingly in Iraq
Condi was all over the Sunday talk shows yesterday spinning the story of progress in Iraq. Of course, despite all of her efforts, the media is focusing on those pesky negative stories:
A suicide bomber attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi military base in northern Iraq on Monday, killing at least 15 people and wounding as many as 30, the Iraqi military said. At least 21 more bodies were found - many with nooses around their neck - and mortar and bomb attacks killed at least four people. [link]
Tell me about it
George W. Bush and his most trusted advisers, Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, entered office determined to restore the authority of the presidency. Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis.
Gotta love it
Jimmy Carter's diary :: ::
Early this month, I had lunch in Plains with a family from Panama City, and a high school girl asked me why she should be a Democrat. I asked her a series of questions that all bloggers should use in discussions: Do you prefer peace or war? Do favor tax breaks for the richest Americans or working families? Would you rather destroy the environment or protect it? Do you approve the torture of prisoners? Do you think our government should secretly spy on your family? Do you think we should abandon every nuclear arms control agreement negotiated since Dwight Eisenhower was president? Do you approve of your part of the national debt now being $28,000 and increasing by $300 each month? Do you think we should meld religion and government? She gave me the Democratic answer to all the questions, and I believe that most Americans will agree, no matter if their state is red or blue.

Quote of the Day:
One personal rule in life which I've been trying to follow is "have as little involvement with insane narcissists as possible." It seems to be a pretty good one.
-Atrios 9:06 AM

Firing of United States Attorneys
Do you think Congress should -- or should not -- investigate the involvement of White House officials in this matter?
Yes, should - 72%; No, should not - 21%

In this matter, do you think Congress should or should not issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify under oath about this matter?
Yes, should - 68%; No, should not - 24%
The beltway pundits did not agree with the American public at the time; probably still don't. I doubt that anything could shake them out of the certainty with which they hold erroneous or irrelevant opinions unless it were withdrawal of their invitations to DC cocktail parties.

Kagro X talked about this here.

L'idiote silencieuse
Cycloptichorn wrote of her:
All the buzz yesterday in the case of the mysteriously disappearing US Attorneys was about one Ms. Monica Goodling, graduate of Regent University, The nation's academic center for Christian thought and action(tm). I've always found it to be rather funny that so many Bush appointees come from these religious colle- wait, no I don't. I don't think it's funny at all. But that's another diary. This one is about Goodling's attempts to subvert justice by Pleading the Fifth... and yet simultaneously claiming that she is innocent of anything.
La guerre éternelle
Joe Sudbay had this to say at Americablog:
Republicans have no plan for Iraq. Never had one. Never questioned the war. Never challenged Bush. Now, they're offended by legislation that would start the process to get our troops out of the civil war.
J'adore le sarcasme
Matthew Saroff, master of snark:
For the sake of argument, let's look at the US Attorney purge under the assumption that Dick Cheney is a decent and honorable human being. (While we're at it let's assume that Santa Claus exists, pro-wrestling is real, and that the Bush crime family are dedicated public servants).
This was posted at The News Blog, creation of the brilliant, passionate, and talented Steve Gilliard (1964-2007). We lost Steve last June 2 and the blogosphere sustained a great loss.

Still missing you, Steve. May you be restin' in peace and risin' in glory!
--the BB

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