More rotten tomatos on offer 31 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, Pakistan, WAR!.
Pimp, promoter and slap happy princelings…
HH: Mr. Burns, some anti-war critics have begun to attack General Petraeus as being not credible and not trustworthy for a variety of reasons, one he gave me an interview, he’s given other people interviews that they consider to be partisan, whatever. Do you believe he’ll be as trustworthy as anyone else speaking on the war?
JB: I do. I can only speak for my own personal experience, and there definitely was in the, in the Vietnam war, there was a failure of senior generals and the joint chiefs of staff to speak frankly about the Vietnam war early enough.
There has definitely been some Pollyannaish character to the reporting of some of the generals here over the past three or four years, although in my own view, knowing virtually all of those generals, I don’t think that that was out of fealty to the White House or Mr. Rumsfeld. It’s a difficult and complex question which we really don’t have time to discuss here.
But to speak of General Petraeus in particular, General Petraeus is 54 years old. Let’s look at this just simply as a matter of career, beyond the matter of principle on which I think we could also say we could expect him to make a forthright report. At 54, General Petraeus is a young four star general, who could expect to have as much as ten more years in the military. And he has every reason to give a forthright and frank report on this. And he says, and he says this insistently, that he will give a forthright, straightforward report, and if the people in Washington don’t like it, then they can find somebody else who will give his forthright, straightforward report.
He is not without options on a personal basis, General Petraeus, and I think he, from everything I’ve learned from him, sees both a professional, in the first place, and personal imperative to state the truth as he sees it about this war.
So, if we are mean to him he will up and leave and take a greased palm love ’em or leave ’em corporate job? That is what I get off that sell job from John Burns. Dumb blackmail. Should work with the Democrats in congress.
HH: Speaking more broadly now, in the American higher command, is there optimism that the surge, given enough time, will bring the kind of stability to Iraq that we all hope it achieves?
JB: You know, optimism is a word which is rarely used around here. The word they would use is realism. You have to look at what the plan is. The plan is that with the surge, aimed primarily at al Qaeda, who are responsible for most of the spectacular attacks, the major suicide bombings, for example, that have driven the sectarian warfare here, the belief is, or the hope is, that with the surge, they can knock al Qaeda back, they can clear areas which have been virtually sanctuaries for al Qaeda, northeast, south, west and northwest of Baghdad, and in Baghdad itself, and then have Iraqi troops move in behind them. The problem here is time. How much time does the U.S. military have now, according to the American political timetable, to accomplish this? I think most generals would say, indeed have said, most serving current generals here have said that a drawdown, which took American troops from the 160,00 level they’re at now quickly down to 100,000 or 80,000 over the next, shall we say, year to eighteen months, that’s too fast. If you do that, I think they would say, though they don’t put it quite this frankly, that this war will be lost for sure. Given a little bit more time, they think that it is realistic to think that the Iraqi forces can move in behind them, and can take over the principal responsibilities for the war. The problem is, of course, that American generals have been saying this now for four years, and as we know, the Congress is beginning to run out of patience with that.
But I think that they have a good plan now, at least if there is any plan that could save the situation here, any plan that could bring a reasonably successful end to the American enterprise here, it’s probably the plan they have right now.
The Pentagon should send John Burns a check. It was hard to select an excerpt… there is so much propaganda in the interview. A few truths near the end of the interview, but squeezed out.
Promoter (Ignatius’ Waziristan on September 10 column via RCP):
Crumpton [a former CIA officer who was one of the heroes of the agency’s campaign to destroy al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan in late 2001 – those are Ignatius’ words, not mine — Mcat] proposed a detailed plan last year for rolling up these sanctuaries, which he called the “Regional Strategic Initiative.” It would combine economic assistance and paramilitary operations in a broad counterinsurgency campaign.
In Waziristan, U.S. and Pakistani operatives would give tribal warlords guns and money, to be sure, but they would coordinate this covert action with economic aid to help tribal leaders operate their local stone quarries more efficiently, say, or install windmills and solar panels to generate electric power for their remote mountain villages.
oh please. Don’t strain my credulity quite so forcefully. We prattle one thing, we wage a sort of low level scorched earth.
Intervening in another Muslim country is risky, to put it mildly. That’s why a successful counterinsurgency program would need Pakistani support, and why its economic and social development components would be critical. The concept should be President Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress” to counter radicalism in Latin America, rather than “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
The United States can begin to take action now against al-Qaeda’s new safe haven. Or we can wait, and hope that we don’t get hit again. The biggest danger of waiting is that if retaliation proves necessary later, it could be ill-planned and heavy-handed — precisely what got us in trouble in Iraq.
BTW, Mr Ignatius is smiling a lot these days. Yet another “spy novel” out, set in the ME, with all his ezy squeezy insider-ish knowledge (Tenet gave him a blurb, how close his writing is to the real thing, ooo!) … and I just heard a movie deal too.
Life is good. War pays off. The Wapo is clover and Ignatius is a pig in clover.
… and those slap happy princelings:
[I]t’s no exaggeration to say that the oil-rich states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—are enjoying a transformational moment, one that could deeply affect the region if not the world. Buoyed by unprecedented oil prices, these states are awash with cash.
In the past five years, they have earned a staggering $1.5 trillion for their petroleum, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF). And there’s no end in sight: by the close of 2007, the IIF says, the GCC will have picked up an additional $540 billion, more than the combined exports of Brazil, India, Poland and Turkey
All that green has turned the once backward region into the world’s 16th largest economy, according to IIF. And if present trends continue, the GCC zone could become the world’s sixth largest by 2030. What’s most remarkable, however, is how the new money is being spent. The gulf has experienced oil booms before, but rarely managed to capitalize on them; three decades ago an oil windfall helped states modernize infrastructure and health services, but many leaders
blew much of the money on defense or vanity projects, or simply hid profits in Western banks.
Again, straining my credulity. Things have changed?
Today, by contrast, the gulf’s farsighted, business-minded political leaders are joining with their more mature and innovative private sectors to ensure the money is wisely spent. Led by Dubai, which is fast becoming a modern banking and financial-services hub, cities in the region are embracing reform and charting an ambitious agenda for the future. “A new gulf is dawning,” says Edmund O’Sullivan, the Dubai-based editorial director of the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED). “And it’s moving much faster and smarter than it did in the 1970s.”
Please… it leaks out from time to time, the mini rebellions against the various royal families, rebellions we are all too happy to help put down. One in Qatar, iirc, just on the eve of our invasion of Iraq.
When the US Corps of Army Engineers was working on the bathrooms of the Kuwaiti royals following GW1 I threw up my hands – and my hands are still up there, in the air. In disgust.
Force morgue at Baghdad airport – photo via IraqSlogger
PBS really does not like Bill Moyers… I had caught this interview on his show last week with Fawaz Gerges… and wanted it for counterpoint to the sludge above… Plug in “Moyers Journal” to their lousy search engine and you get… nothing. Plug in “Moyers” and you get a hodge podge of the Wide Angle program. What a mess we are in.
Nevertheless, here is a snip from the Moyers interview:
FAWAZ A. GERGES: In fact, if you ask any American soldier in Iraq, “Who is the enemy?” he would tell you al Qaeda. And this has done a great deal of damage to relations between the American military and the Iraqi population.
BILL MOYERS: How come?
FAWAZ A. GERGES: The overwhelming number of insurgents or resistance fighters are Iraqis. They are not al Qaeda. al Qaeda is a critical component, is a tiny, small, critical component in the Iraqi equation, less than five percent of all insurgents and resistance fighters. So, while al Qaeda is very lethal, is very deadly, it has carried out some of the devastating attacks in Iraq, in fact, the United States is facing a highly complex and determined resistance or insurgency numbering in the tens of thousands, most of whom have nothing to do with al Qaeda.
BILL MOYERS: Just the other day– the United States launched an offensive about 30 miles north of Baghdad. And helicopter attacks killed– 17 of what the military said– were al Qaeda gunmen. But after the military left, the BBC went in and the villagers told the BBC that these were not any way connected to al Qaeda. They were village guards trying to prevent attacks from the very insurgents he talked about. What do you tell those young men–
FAWAZ A. GERGES: It’s one thing to say that we have to prepare our soldiers and officers to fight a highly complex and nuanced war, but when you have the president himself, day after day, time and again, keep saying that this war against al Qaeda, yes, there is al Qaeda. But, in fact, according to American military commanders, the bulk of attacks that are taking place in Iraq are basically carried out by Shiite and Sunni militia in revenge attacks against each other.
Yet the administration keeps telling us it’s al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda.
Best thing since global communism. NO question.
FAWAZ A. GERGES: You know, Bill, the question on the table is not whether al Qaeda in Iraq exists or not. It does exist. It has carried out some of the deadliest, lethal attacks against mainly civilians. I would go further and say based on everything that we have seen, in fact, according to American military commanders up til the last few months, even if al Qaeda in Iraq were to be removed entirely from the Iraq equation, if tomorrow, Bill, we said, “We remove al Qaeda,” the strategic predicament of the United States would not change dramatically.
BILL MOYERS: How so?
FAWAZ A. GERGES: And that’s the question? If our reading of the situation is correct that the United States is facing a complex and a highly determined insurgency or armed resistance, then the question is you’re facing tens of thousands– with probably millions of supporters in terms of families and neighborhoods. And this is why unless we understand that this is basically a political problem and, in fact only Iraqis can defeat al Qaeda. That’s the irony. The president keeps saying we need to stay in Iraq in order to defeat al Qaeda. In fact, the evidence shows that al Qaeda in Iraq can only be defeated by Iraqis, chased out of Iraq by Iraqis. Iraqis are beginning the task now to do it.
And talk about “blowback”:
FAWAZ A. GERGES: As a historian to me, what happened to Britain in 1920, as you know, Britain was in charge of Iraq. And it put Iraq– glued Iraq together in the 1920s. And by the end of this, Britain became really a hostage to local players in Iraq. And in fact the United States is finding itself in the same place as Britain did in the 19– at the mercy– at the mercy of local players initially Shiite political leadership. And now the United States has gone against the wishes of the Iraqi government and trying to arm some Sunni tribes to fight al Qaeda.
In fact, the American military presence in Iraq, the preponderant American military presence has become a liability, a liability against America’s vested interest.
The American presence in Iraq, Bill, and for a person like me who lives for long periods of time in the Middle East, is not just–
BILL MOYERS: Born in– in Beirut, right?
FAWAZ A. GERGES: Born in Beirut. And I have spent several years doing field research in the last years.
The way the American mission is perceived in the Muslim world is that this not about democracy. This is not about the fight against– al Qaeda.
This is a fight to subjugate– to subjugate the Arab and Muslim world and control its resources. [looks that way to me — Mcat]
And that’s why what I find most really alarming, Bill, al Qaeda’s ideological claims basically are finding receptive ears in that part of the world because al Qaeda is telling Muslims the United States is waging a war against Islam and Muslims. And, in fact what the war itself has done, it has radicalized and militarized a tiny segment of mainstream public opinion.
Cannot put it more simply and directly than that…
Have a thread… ;) 30 July 2007Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Just a thread… ;)
Jesusfuckingchrist. Can they not dry up and go away (mere rhetoric, I know they never “go away”)?
Not with the tiniest, most shredded fibre of myself do I believe a word of this:
A War We Just Might Win
VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.
Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference. [snip]
Liars they were, years ago, to sell this war, scabrous baby-faced boys who made themselves barnacles to the war machine. Worse, they sold themselves as Liberal Hawks. They emboldened and made authentic other liberal hawks, like Josh Marshall, Matthew Yglesias, Oliver Willis, Eric Alterman – others.
String them up (it’s a metaphor, chump!)!
I was looking at the oblong table Sunday, the liars and thieves, arrayed at table to sup wtih Timmy. Still there, still here lecturing us – the very ones, some of them, who sold the war going in. Sold it as a holding pattern, sold the death the dying and the enormous financial losses – all of that on all sides – but for the promoters, the arms dealers, the congress people… and the political pundits.
Oh the list is long. Smiling and selling. The entire nation is a used car lot. How fitting.
I think the summer of 2002 was one of the longest, most trying. The hideous run-up to the war, as the Guardian called it in their book, The War We Could Not Stop. I used to go out to lunch with a friend, who was convinced all Bush would do was “threaten war”. At an Italian porta via on Fillmore St. When I would think I was about to lose my mind, between the smoked chicken and the tiramisu, I’d throw my arm up and blindly call out: Waiter! Another bottle of whatever we are drinking.
Another one who should dry up and blow away, if we are to live. Seems clear they plan for us to die, by inches…
Then there are all the other energy ideas Congress wishes to adopt–better energy efficiency for washers, driers, boilers, motors and refrigerators; greater fuel efficiency for cars; and more use of wind, solar and geothermal power generation. Good ideas all
[Good Ideas? Had we done this thirty years ago, then yes.. what a pat on the head from Pete du Pont — Mcat]
–especially more fuel-efficient automobiles–but not substantively or immediately very helpful in meeting the challenge of increasing America’s energy supplies to keep our economy, jobs and prosperity increasing.
To do that we must build many more nuclear power plants and increase our drilling for oil and gas. The NPC report says it takes 15 to 20 years from exploration until production begins, and it costs $3 billion to build an average 120,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery. That is just the opposite of the current congressional policy of reducing oil use, blocking access to existing domestic oil reserves, not increasing nuclear power generation, and touting ethanol as another subsidy for farmers.
Guys… we are not winning.
Pulling this forward from the last thread, a comment from wu ming:
In this regard, information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence already within the target nation, group or community to pass the U.S. message. . . . Sometimes numbers can be effective; hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering. On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.
An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however. . . .
Extract of a 2006 report, via Thomas RIcks in-box column in the Wapo… 8)
Just as shocking as all that gambling in Casablanca…
Sunday Afternoon Thread… ;) 29 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy.
I just heard on PBS’s To the Contrary, that Merkel recently went to Riyadh and shook whomever’s hand (whoever is still upright, I would guess) and wore neither scarf nor skirt nor covering. A pantsuit and bareheaded.
I am all for it, I hate that western women feel constrained to cover up.
STOP DOING IT.
Sunday Thread … ;) 29 July 2007Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
I am off to make coffee — meaning if commens fall to moderation or spam a bit of delay… ;)
Ever Onward… 28 July 2007Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, WAR!.
Hundreds of angry protesters clashed with the police on Friday when the Pakistani government tried to reopen the Red Mosque for prayers. [Tomas Munita for The New York Times]
[A] presidential spokesman, Maj. Gen. Rashi Qureshi, denied the reports on Pakistani television, calling them “completely baseless,” according to Agence France-Presse. But a former official close to Ms. Bhutto, who did not want to be identified, confirmed the meeting, saying it took place in Abu Dhabi.
The former official described the encounter as “cordial” and said both leaders had agreed on the need to work together as moderates to counter rising attacks by hard-line Islamists in Pakistan.
General Musharraf offered to allow Ms. Bhutto, who lives in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai, to return to Pakistan and contest elections for prime minister, the former official said. But General Musharraf said he would continue to serve as both Pakistan’s president and chief of the army.
Ms. Bhutto objected to his holding both positions, according to the former official, but more meetings between their aides are expected. “The uniform is the problem,” the former official said, adding: “From his point of view, staying in uniform is the key to him staying in control of the levers of power. The civilians know that and are not going to accept that.”
The meeting added to speculation that Ms. Bhutto could return to politics in Pakistan as early as September. It was also an indicator of the relief General Musharraf is seeking from the pressures increasingly besieging him, from prodemocracy demonstrators to radical Islamists, who have carried out a rising number of attacks and were further antagonized by the Red Mosque siege. [snip]
Truer words… I snagged this from Angry Arab:
“Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the United States, and President Bush in particular, on Friday for sowing disorder across the world by seeking to build an empire. Gorbachev, who presided over the break-up of the Soviet Union, said Washington had sought to build an empire after the Cold War ended but had failed to understand the changing world. “The Americans then gave birth to the idea of a new empire, world leadership by a single power, and what followed?” Gorbachev asked reporters at a news conference in Moscow.”
“What has followed are unilateral actions, what has followed are wars, what has followed is ignoring the U.N. Security Council, ignoring international law and ignoring the will of the people, even the American people,” he said.
No argument here…
Rival and enemy?
Many Russians view the United States as a rival and enemy.
Gorbachev, 76, who left politics after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, is deeply unpopular in Russia. Though feted abroad, he is blamed in Russia for sinking the Soviet empire and plunging millions into poverty.
“When I look at today’s world I have a worrying feeling about the growth of world disorder,” he said.
“I don’t think the current president of the United States and his administration will be able to change the situation as it is developing now — it is very dangerous,” he said.
But before the Democrats puff out their chicken breasts in pride that they are not Bush:
Gorbachev said Russia’s hopes of building stronger ties with Washington had waned in the face of a series of U.S. administrations interested in building an empire.
Members of the banned National Bolshevik Party throw leaflets from the roof of a union building in central Moscow. [AP via BBC, July 26 2007]
UPDATE, 3:14 am…
Dancing as fast as we can, to keep all our little friends happy. And stocked for war…
Worried about the impression that the United States was starting an arms race in the region, State and Defense Department officials stressed that the arms deal was being proposed largely in response to improvements in Iran’s military capabilities and to counter the threat posed by its nuclear program, which the Bush administration contends is aimed at building nuclear weapons.
Oh that sneaky Iran. So handy!
Along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are likely to receive equipment and weaponry from the arms sales under consideration, officials said. In general, the United States is interested in upgrading the countries’ air and missile defense systems, improving their navies and making modest improvements in their air forces, administration officials said, though not all the packages would be the same.
Ms. Rice is expected to announce Monday that the administration will open formal discussions with each country about the proposed packages, in hopes of reaching agreements by the fall.
Oh! It is high season for arms deals!
Along with the announcement of formal talks with Persian Gulf allies on the arms package, Ms. Rice is planning to outline the new agreement to provide military aid to Israel, as well as a similar accord with Egypt.
The $30.4 billion being promised to Israel is $9.1 billion more than Israel has received over the past decade, an increase of nearly 43 percent.
In defending the proposed sale to Saudi Arabia and other gulf states, the officials noted that the Saudis and several of the other countries were in talks with suppliers other than the United States. If the packages offered to them by the United States are blocked or come with too many conditions, the officials said, the Persian Gulf countries could turn elsewhere for similar equipment, reducing American influence in the region.
The United States has made few, if any, sales of satellite-guided munitions to Arab countries in the past, though Israel has received them since the mid-1990s as part of a United States policy of ensuring that Israel has a military edge over its regional rivals.
Israeli officials have made specific requests aimed at eliminating concerns that satellite-guided bombs sold to the Saudis could be used against its territory, administration officials said.
Their major concern is not a full-scale Saudi attack, but the possibility that a rogue pilot armed with one of the bombs could attack on his own or that the Saudi government could one day be overthrown and the weapons could fall into the hands of a more radical regime, officials said.
Talk about Goodie Bags! Whatever! Air kiss, air kiss (can’t you just see Condi and Tzipi Livni?)… have a glass of champagne to seal the deal…
Democratic Boxing Gloves… 26 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, Abortion Rights, Afghanistan War, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, The Battle for New Orleans.
taxpayer paid for, never worn (god forbid they break a nail – on the peoples’ behalf – as they ascend to the WH).
Any reasonable offer will be accepted…
Just an overnight thread… ;)
UPDATE, 9:57 pm
“Exit” Amendment Would Leave Troops in Iraq Indefinitely
What Harry Reid Doesn’t Know About His Own Bill
By TINA RICHARDS
I attended the MoveOn.org rally on Tuesday night where Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid discussed how they were going to “end the war” and “bring our troops home” with the Levin-Reed Amendment.
When I asked if they meant all the troops, I was quickly told to, “shut up” and muscled aside by security. A fellow Marine Mom was treated in much the same manner and we couldn’t get over how much like the Republicans the “Anti-Escalation” folks were acting.
I thought maybe I missed something in the Amendment and should reread it to ensure I did not miss anything. Yet an in-depth analysis of the Amendment is not needed in order to find the contradictions.
A quick glance paired with recent statements made by Senator Reid prove that it holds no ambitions of easing the minds of military families and moms who want to know, “how do you choose which of our sons and daughters to abandon in Iraq?”
The Amendment provides for our troops to come home, except for the following three reasons:
(1) Protect United States and Coalition personnel and infrastructure,
(2) Provide logistical support for Iraqi security forces and to
(3) Engage in counter-terrorism operations against international terrorism groups and their local affiliates.
I had an opportunity to ask Leader Reid about how many troops will be abandoned in Iraq. He bluntly stated, “we haven’t spoken to the military yet, at that this stage we don’t know.”
We don’t know? They have pushed and prodded for this Amendment and they don’t know? [snip]
“Against all enemies, foreign and domestic… “ 26 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House.
Does she hear… herself?
“”The Constitution gives the Congress a crucial role in overseeing the Executive Branch in order to protect the American people against overreaching, incompetence, and corruption,” she said in a statement.
Call Gump’s, pronto. Nan has no necklace…. Rustle up a quick shipment of South Seas pearls. I’d love to pay – and would prefer to pay – attention to her words and not the fashion miss, but the words are fictional, on her part.
Mr. Murtha predicted that the central showdown over the withdrawal plan would come in September, after the Congressional recess. He said he had indications that more Republicans and some in the military might be ready at that time to rally behind his latest proposal.
“When you get to September, this is history, this is when we are going to have a real confrontation with the president,” Mr. Murtha told reporters. “I see signals that things are going to get worked out.”
How many times in how many ways can they say the same thing?
Yearwood, who is a chaplain in the Air Force, said that Conyers had been a mentor to him, but he declared that he now felt betrayed and that Americans needed to take back their government. As he was led down the hall to his arraignment, the handcuffed Yearwood pointedly sang “We Shall Overcome!”
This reporter subsequently called Conyers’ press office for an explanation of Conyers’ true position on impeachment. Only a few days earlier the congressman, visiting a San Diego meeting on health care reform, had told members of Progressive Democrats of America that it was time to “take these two guys (Bush and Cheney) out” and had promised that if just “three members” of the House came to him and asked for an investigation into impeachable crimes by Bush and Cheney, he would move such a resolution forward for consideration in his Judiciary Committee.
Asked how that statement squared with what he had told the group of activists in his office, the spokesman said Conyers’ “must have been misunderstood” in San Diego (the problem with that is that there is a video of him saying it. Couldn’t they at least be honest about it?).
He said that in view of Conyers’ statement to Sheehan and the others today, the Kucinich bill was “not going to go anywhere.”
Not bothering to wonder if Conyers can hear himself.
She did not say from what quarter the charges come, but from a piece Sheehan has up at Buzzflash (Cindy Sheehan: Justice Should be Color-Blind), she and Ray McGovern are being called racists for insisting Conyers do his job… one that he promised would be done with the election of Democrats (Congressman John Conyers Betrays the American People).
Of course, I can recall that in May of 2006 he also had an opinion piece placed in the Wapo saying he would not seek impeachment.
They’ll say anything…
UPDATE, 12:55 pm
U.S. President George W. Bush (C) walks with U.S. Army Sgt. Neil Duncan (L) and U.S. Army Specialist Max Ramsey after jogging at the White House in Washington July 25, 2007. Duncan lost both legs in Afghanistan in December 2005 and Ramsey lost his left leg in Iraq in March 2006. (UNITED STATES) [REUTERS/Larry Downing]
Isn’t that sweet, one from each of the wars. The WH did not wish to discriminate… I am sure that was it.
Just one more conservative… flower… 25 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. Senate.
And don’t think she is not selling herself, behind closed doors, as a conservative flower of the South. Wife of Alpha Bubba and 20 years on the hoof in Arkansas.
From the MyDD post (the thread is a scream):
Rich Lowry at National Review Online:
I thought Hillary was excellent. She never makes a mistake. She seems ready for pretty much everything. And, while she has done her share of pandering to the Democratic base, she is the only candidate operating with an eye to the general election and to the very real possibility that she will be the next commander-in-chief.
We are so blessed. Bow down.
Just a thread… with a pic and a sharp toss at Hilarious.
Shilling for the party… 24 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la morte de St Germain Dog - the best the BLAHgers had, Political Blogs, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Should the DailyKos be Subject to the Federal Election Commission?
Written by John Bambenek
Published July 23, 2007
Today I filed an Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Kos Media, LLC., better known as DailyKos.com. I allege that they operate as a political committee and are therefore subject to FEC rules.
I first thought of this complaint during the Cindy Sheehan debacle over at Daily Kos, where Cindy pledged to run as an independent against Nancy Pelosi, and the Daily Kos basically turned on her. While some conservatives took great delight in this, I really didn’t care because it’s politics as usual. The right has thrown their fair share of people under the bus for not drinking the Kool-aid too.
However, the statement that the DailyKos was about electing Democrats stuck with me. I always assumed it was a standard left-wing group blog spouting the latest and greatest in left-wing diatribe. However, the statement that the blog exists to get Democrats elected is repeated in various places around the site, including statements by Kos himself.
Federal Election Commission rules apply for organizations that spend or contribute an equivalent of $1,000 per year in trying to influence elections for federal office. DailyKos is owned by Kos Media, a company, which makes it fit the definition of an organization. It surely spends at least $1,000 per year in hosting and based on what they charge (and get) for advertising, their support of candidates is certainly worth over $1,000 per year. Lastly, their self-identified purpose is to influence elections in the Democrats favor. They fit the criteria. [snip]
What do you think? FEC should get on the Dkos / Markos ass?
I certainly have long thought so. Further, post 2004 election when Kos declared it a Democratic site, dedicated to the election of Democrats, I was not the one to raise it in threads… several did. I did post there and at LSF he should BANNER that it is a Democratic party aligned site.
I say: Be up front. Why not [snigger, we can guess, FEC issues]
Kos and his tied in Blahgs have long been product enhancement, product endorsement scams. In my opinion. I am not have not been a devotee of the site for years (UID 97 and an observer, surely) but I can remember housekeeping posts from Markos, to the FP, exhorting Dems in congress to pungle up their mandatory donations to a congressional elections kitty. Names, amounts owed, amounts they have chipped in, etc. Just a job for Rahm. Or Reid and Shumer.
He surely organises to influence elections, by his own admission.
Go Bambenek. Go for it.
UPDATE, 9:45 am
From the thread, Sabrina Ballerina update, Adam B (who, iirc handled issues of bloggers before the FEC for Kos/aligned blogs) is at the Blog Critics site in debate with Bambenek:
Sabrina Ballerina |
Adam B arguing his case on Bambeneck’s blog:
#17 — July 24, 2007 @ 00:22AM — Adam B.
John, the “reform” groups explicitly argued before the FEC in the FiredUp case that “an organization whose stated purpose is to be the functional equivalent of a partisan campaign organization — to elect Democratic candidates and to solicit contributions for such candidates — does not qualify for the press exemption.”
Every single commissioner on the FEC rejected this argument, and agreed that FiredUp was indeed a press entity.
Moreover, the “compensation” issue only applies to being compensated by campaigns for the blogging. The FEC’s explanation of the regulations make clear that even if a campaign paid a blogger to perform technical/consulting services, the blogger’s personal blogging for which he wasn’t being paid didn’t count as a contribution/expenditure.
John, I fought long and hard alongside the folks from RedState to get these exemptions in place. The FEC could not have been more clear in 2005-06 as to what the new rules were. Please read them.
#18 — July 24, 2007 @ 00:23AM — John Bambenek [URL]
I read the 2005 advisory opinion and it involves a site that doesn’t (unlike Daily Kos) state that their primary purpose is to elect Democrats. Marcos is on record, several other editors are on record, and the site itself states prominently that the purpose of the Daily Kos is to elect Democrats. They don’t say report news, they don’t say advance an agenda, they say elect Democrats, period. It’s a different situation. You can’t argue that you’re a press outlet, when all over your site you say you’re all about electing a certain political party to office. They are incompatible. And that’s why its different…
Fired Up and others are commentary sites and act like it. Daily Kos’s self-identified purpose is to get Democrats elected. It’d be different if they themselves stated they have another agenda, but they come out and admit they act like a PAC… they can’t run and hide simply because they are challenged.
This is an interesting comment also ….
#47 — July 24, 2007 @ 10:17AM — apetrelli
Those referring to the Fired-Up advisory opinion or the FEC hearings and ensuing exemption are wrong.
This complaint is based on DailyKos’ efforts at organizing voters, and raising money to further organize voters, for the expressed purpose of electing Democrats. This is not speech, it is clearly the actions and incidents of a political committee. There are clear grounds distinguishing this from both the advisory opinion and the exemption.
Watch DailyKos over the next few days (or at most, weeks) strip all references to ‘electing Democrats’ as they attempt to rewrite history. DailyKos is as DailyKos does.
I’m sure Kos is not taking money from the DNC, but all he has to do is disclose who he is taking from and end the inquiries … and stop banning people for political discussion …. allow discussion of all candidates. Why, eg, did they ban Ron Paul diaries? Or Cindy Sheehan candidacy diaries, if their claim is to be a ‘news entity’. That is shot down by their banning of any news related to these two political candidates, imo.
Be interesting to see the troll patrols waving around their FAQs. Someone in that thread says that Daily Kos never says anywhere that they are there only to elect Dems. Lol! Very bad defense.
Thanks to Clonecone’s, Elise’s and their cohorts’ endless waving of the ‘rules book, it is embedded in the minds of all that that is exactly what they claim. It is chanted like a cult mantra ‘This is a partisan site! Dammit, READ the FAQs etc. etc. Lol. I knew the troll patrols would eventually have some value to someone … looks like the FEC will be pouring over their admonitions to ‘banned trolls’ or were simply people wanting to discuss politics on a political board?
Jul 24, 9:43 AM
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