Summary: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News' Jim Angle both repeated the misleading claim that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeted only terrorists. In fact, the program has monitored the communications of thousands of people with no terrorist connection.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States lags dangerously behind al Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday. "Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but ... our country has not adapted," Rumsfeld said. "For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world," Rumsfeld said, referring to old-fashioned U.S. retail stores and the online auction house respectively. U.S. military public affairs officers must learn to anticipate news and respond faster, and good public affairs officers should be rewarded with promotions, he said.
The Bush Administration has spent $1.6 Billion dollars in recent years on Public Relations. Does anyone see the trend here? It wraps right into the current overblown coverage of Cheney's hunting accident. All the attention is on Cheney , not some much because of the everyday mistake ol' Dick made, but for the opportunity it left open for others to make hay. As I've said already--there are many more disturbing things our VP has had involment in--that are more worthy of our Fourth Estate's attention.
How this ties directly into the bloated PR budget and our slippery position in the field of digital media/propaganda is simple; The Administration, instead of being open and transparent, stonewalls at every turn. If there ever was anything of concern there to begin with doesn't matter in the aftermath, the damage having already been done. Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Katrina, etc, etc, on and on.
1. Do the right thing in the first place.
2. Mistakes happen, own up to them and make more than a half-hearted attempt at righting the wrong.
3.The Right-wing mantra of "Responsibilty, Responsibilty, Responsibilty" means nothing without accountability.
As you've noticed there is a picture of Yellow Cake right between pictures of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper, as well as Karl Rove and Robert Novak in the scroller above. Yellow Cake is refined Uranium ore, so the placement of a bag of regular old cake mix in between these characters is a play on the whole Plame-Gate Scandal that's still brewing. When refined further with nitric acid, Kerosene, and other solvents Uranium ore becomes U-235. According to Dr. Frank Settle's site on Nuclear Chemistry and Uranium Production, "Reactors use both enriched (3 to 5% U-235) uranium metal and uranium oxide as fuel while weapons use more highly enriched uranium (up to 90% U-235)."
I'm no chemist so if UO3(s) + 2H+(aq) --> UO22+(aq) + H2O confuses you, I'm right there with ya.
The technical stuff doesn't matter, and the rest is real simple depending on which side you take. The CIA sent Valerie Plame's husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson to investigate claims that
In retaliation the Administration, through the office of the Vice-President (specifically the VP's chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby) leaked classified information about
The Internet is out, my wife is at her Aunt Julie’s, Gran Turismo is playing in B-SPEC mode, and Six Feet Under just ended. I dropped Math because I can’t get through it only having class once a week. I’ll save it for the fall when I can devote my full attention to learning that foreign language. I picked up World Literature instead.
Hillary Clinton was on CSPAN earlier, it was an interview she gave to Jane Pauly on the 28th. She was wearing some ghastly red dress out of a cheap Edgar Allen Poe knock off. Just to see her lips pronounce the word “calculating” without a single hint of irony was less than amusing. Another week slips by and another clash with a right-winger over. Most of it preserved here if you care to review it, I’d rather not rehash the disconnect that is the story of
I’m putting in my transfer paperwork tomorrow when I go back to drill. My unit is reorganizing and the job that I haven’t even been to school for yet has been shifted to another unit. The position I ‘m trying to get is in another unit at the same armory, which means if I do get it, the school will be for a couple of months back in good ol’ El Paso. Of all the duty stations I’ve been stationed at while active duty, that’s the last one I would have picked to go back to.
It’s odd, thinking of all how might read this. What’s going on in their lives right now, and what actually shows up on there blogs. How can anyone be totally open? How can a blog really be a blog if it becomes a fictionalized memoir of someone’s life? Narcissism drives the blogging masses, or at least it drives me. Regular everyday life doesn’t hold the same interchange of ideas, the conversations, and the conflicts. In everyday life everyone tries to get along and there just are places we don’t take each other because of the consequences. Everyone knows the dynamic. Push people out of their comfort zone and watch out for the back-blast. Who want’s to be the person who always agitates someone to reexamine their beliefs?
I ran into a blogger named Harry a little over a week ago and he was a classic case. The summery would be, “I believe what I believe and there is no room for discussion.” Makes me wonder what the rank structure would be for the “Seven Army Values.” Does Honesty outrank Loyalty, does Integrity not outrank all? He steadfastly refused to discuss anything. Basically he put me in the character of the smooth talking lawyer/salesman. It’s just sad to see someone shut down like that, crawl into their shell, and wait me out like some kind of hermit crab. It’s not like I was hurling insults like some (you know who you are), I just asked a few questions and pointed out a few things.
If I had a religion, as in, the, “unseen order guides the world,” sense of the word, it would be Sociology. That’s one answer, on the other hand, from the sense that, “religion is the concern which is more important than anything else,” I would say it’s a close call between politics and sex, sex being my religion by a narrow margin. In Sociology, Max Weber tells us that the increasing rationalization, or formal organization, “…cage[s] our imagination and crush[es] the human spirit.” The short hand for this is the “McDonaldization” of
I hope that my views, whether you agree with them or not (or whether you think I “cut & paste” to much), have made a stab at bucking this trend. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the narcissism talking. Enough ranting…the internets back up.
1. For School Prayer and Amending the Constitution:
Rep. Boehner supported a school prayer amendment to the United States Constitution in 1997 (H.J.Res. 78), 1999 (H.J.Res 66), and 2001 (H.J.Res. 52); voted to permit school prayer "during this time of struggle against the forces of international terrorism" (House Roll Call Vote 445, Nov. 15, 2001); and voted to only allow federal aid to schools that allow prayer (House Roll Call Vote 85, March 23, 1994).
2. For Forced Religion in Anti-Poverty Programs:
Rep. Boehner voted to permit taxpayer-funded anti-poverty programs to require aid recipients to join in religious activities. (House Roll Call Votes 16 and 17, Feb. 4, 2004)
3. 100% Against a Woman's Right to Choose:
Rep. Boehner received a "0%" pro-choice score from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2005.
4. For Religious Employment Discrimination:
Rep. Boehner voted to permit taxpayer-funded anti-poverty programs to engage in federally-funded employment discrimination. (House Roll Call Votes 15 and 17, Feb. 4, 2004)
5. Against the Rule of Law in Ten Commandments Case:
Rep. Boehner voted to prevent the Justice Department from enforcing a court order to remove a 5,000 pound Ten Commandments monument from Alabama's state supreme court. (House Roll Call Vote 419, July 23, 2003)
6. Against Common-Sense Environmental Safeguards:
Rep. Boehner voted for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (House Roll Call Vote 122, April 20, 2005); voted to gut the Endangered Species Act (House Roll Call Vote 506, September 29, 2005); and voted to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (House Roll Call Vote 242, June 15, 2004).
7. For More Religious Employment Discrimination:
Rep. Boehner voted to permit taxpayer-funded job training programs to engage in religious discrimination when hiring and firing employees with federal funds. (House Roll Call Vote 46, March 2, 2005)
8. Against Confronting Proselytizing at the Air Force Academy:
Rep. Boehner voted against an amendment to squarely address religious coercion and proselytizing at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. The amendment criticized "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing" of cadets at the Academy while observing that "expression of personal religious faith is welcome" throughout the military. (House Roll Call Vote 283, June 20, 2005)
9. Led the Effort to Inject Religious Employment Discrimination into Head Start:
Rep. Boehner added a controversial amendment in September to a previously bipartisan School Readiness Act which would "allow federally funded early-child-care providers to discriminate on religious grounds," according to The Forward. The Forward notes, "The federal government transfers about $6.7 billion annually to 19,000 Head Start providers in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia." Jewish groups opposed to the measure, according to The Forward, include the "Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Jewish Women."
10. Pushed Ohio Schools to Embrace "Intelligent Design:"
People For the American Way reports that Rep. Boehner and fellow Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot wrote to the Ohio school board claiming that legislative language required that references to "Intelligent Design" be included in Ohio's science standards. In fact, such language was removed from the relevant education bill before it became final.
See also:Update: John Boehner: Yet Another Lobbying Slut? The new House Majority Leader is not quite the 'reformer' he claims by Anya Kamenetz
-See also: Tale of Two Presidents
"You are caught between two extremes and neither is right," says Ayman Safadi, editor in chief of Jordan's Al Ghad newspaper. The United States comes with its agenda, but with no real understanding, while the old guard in the Middle East is unwilling to admit it has failed, decade after decade, to deliver on its hollow promises of dignity and progress. In the midst of contradictions, people cling to traditions "in their bubble of anachronism," says Safadi. Those who are attacked or denigrated by the Bush administration, like the Baathist regime in Syria, find themselves lionized by the Arab public. Those applauded by Washington are dismissed as pawns. The result on the ground is often the opposite of the Bush administration's stated desires. "Democracy has a new enemy in the region, which is the support [for democracy] by the United States of America,"
Since the discussion of facts has been so popular as of late on "Making conservatives cringe since 1977", let's see what facts can be applied to last night's rhetoric from the State of the Union address, From Think Progress via Alternet:
On Katrina: Bush said: "As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity." Fact -- White House stonewalling Katrina investigations: Congressional investigations into the administration’s inadequate response to Katrina have stalled because the “Bush White House is now refusing to turn over Hurricane Katrina related documents or make senior officials available for testimony.” [MSNBC, 1/26/06] Bush said: "In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country." Fact -- Poverty rates have increased under Bush: The poverty rate has risen each year since 2001, with 12.7 percent of the population now living in poverty. African-American poverty has risen from 22.7 percent in 2001 to 24.7 percent in 2004, and child poverty has gone from 16.3 percent in 2001 to 17.8 percent (1.3 million children under the age of 18). [U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 2005, Tables B-1 and B-2] Fact -- Bush tax cuts targeted at high-income households: The tax bills enacted since 2001 “have helped high-income households far more than other households,” according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Households with incomes exceeding $1 million have received average tax cuts of $103,000, “an increase of 5.4 percent in their after-tax income.” But in 2005, the bottom fifth of households “will receive an average combined tax cut of $18 from these bills, raising their after-tax income by 0.3 percent.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/17/05] On Energy: Bush said: "The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold of incredible advances." Fact -- Bush pushed for renewable energy cuts in latest budget: President Bush’s FY06 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs envisioned "reductions totaling nearly $50 million -- an overall cut of roughly four percent." [Renewable Energy Access, 2/28/05] Fact -- Bush rejected bipartisan plan to set goals for renewable energy: Last year, President Bush "oppose[d] efforts to include a national renewable energy requirement for utilities in Congress’ broad energy legislation." According to the Union of Concerned Scientists it "is a cost-effective, market-based policy that requires electric utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and bioenergy," to between 10 and 20 percent by 2020. A 10 percent standard "would have virtually no impact on electricity prices and could save consumers as much as $13.2 billion." [Reuters, 2/10/05; Union of Concerned Scientists; Union of Concerned Scientists] Fact -- Bush energy bill contained little on renewable energy: The energy bill supported and signed by President Bush dropped a provision that would have required utilities "to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity through renewable fuels by 2020." [New York Times, 7/26/05] On Iran: Bush said: “The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions – and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.” Fact -- Bush Middle East policy has weakened our hand: By invading Iraq without enough troops and without a plan for stabilizing the country, the administration allowed an historic expansion of Iranian influence westward into Iraq, even as the country’s new leadership has drifted further towards radicalism and rabid anti-Semitism. The Bush administration substituted a policy of dual containment (of Iran and Iraq) for something more dangerous: a single-minded focus on Iraq that has hampered our efforts to fight global terrorism and strengthened Iran’s influence. Fact -- Bush opposition to negotiations weakened our hand: The Bush administration dismissed three separate invitations to open back-channel communications with Iran’s government under the more moderate President Khatami. It refused to participate directly in the talks involving Britain, France, and Germany, despite warnings from diplomats and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) that the talks were likely to fail without U.S. involvement. Instead of being an active player, the Bush administration sat on the sidelines and ceded leadership to others. As Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stated last November, "The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives." On Tax Cuts: Bush said: "Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly, and make the tax cuts permanent." Fact -- Tax cuts will cost $3.4 trillion over 10 years: The cost of making the tax cuts permanent will be $3.4 trillion through fiscal year 2015. This includes the cost of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax relief associated with these tax cuts. [Congressional Budget Office, 1/26/06] Fact -- Permanent tax cuts overwhelmingly favor the wealthiest: If Bush’s tax cuts are made permanent, the top one percent of households will gain an average of $71,420 a year when the tax cuts are fully in effect. By contrast, people in the middle of the income spectrum would secure average tax cuts of just $870. [Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, 12/20/05]