Friday, August 24, 2007

Today's Must Read - Ray McGovern's "Bush League War Drums Beating Louder on Iran"

Now, I know, for the Dog Days of August, there's a lot going on ...

We have the continued prelude to the great and powerful Petraeus report with the Selling of Iraq ...

There's the new glamor boy on the scene, who dares to have the vision to go in and rescue Iraq ...

And just in case you forgot about the Iraqi connection to September 11th, Ari Fleischer is rolling out a new road show to bring that canard on-stage for another encore ...

However, there is a searing post today on Truthout that truly deserves your attention.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern's "Bush League War Drums Beating Louder on Iran".

I will only quote you one line from it: "Scary".

Get ready to be told to go out and do more shopping...

Bonus Links

Robert Baer: Prelude to an Attack on Iran

Cernig: Sanders Calls FOX News Out On Iran Warmongering

Think Progress - Bolton: I ‘Absolutely’ Hope The U.S. Will Attack Iran In The Next ‘Six Months’

Attytood: A prelude to war: What's really behind Bush's Iran move

They're singing McCain's song ...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is The White House Iraq Group Opening Up Franchises?

I'm a little surprised that didn't come out with a theme song for it.

We're a Fear Mongering Flag
We're a Terror-Raising Flag
And whenever Bush speaks may it wave

We're the emblem near
Bush's Imperial sphere
The Home of Spin and the Smear

Ev'ry heart beats fast
With each Iraq policy recast
Where there's always a boast or brag.

But should old threats never be forgot,
Keep your eye on the Fear Mongering Flag.
Of course, we speak of the new Ari Fleischer flag-waving venture, Freedom Watch.

Now, last we saw Fleischer, the former Bush Grindhouse flak, he was cutting his sweetheart immunity deal in order to testify in the Scooter Libby Trial.

Can't have federal charges hanging over you when you're launching a new jingoistic propaganda group, can we?

The first sentence on their website shows, immediately, the folly of their work;
Welcome to Freedom’s Watch, an organization dedicated to fighting to protect the ideals and issues that keep America strong and prosperous.
How's that for some Newspeak?

With the financial drain Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq has placed on the country, and the grinding down of our military forces, those "ideals and issues' are out-the-window.

But it gets better.
  • Our mission is to ensure a strong national defense and a powerful fight against terror, especially in Iraq. On the domestic front, our mission is to give hope, lift people up, and achieve prosperity through free enterprise.
  • Those who want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election.
  • Our group will give a voice to those who believe that victory is America's only choice. For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming.
  • Our goal, as we await General Petraeus' report, is to make sure our elected leaders do not abandon our nation's mission in Iraq and that they do not cave in to the demands of those who want to cut and run.
Surely, this must have Little Billy Kristolnacht welling up.

And you just gotta love that "the cavalry is coming" line ...

And to give you some real flavor of this, Fleischer appeared on 'Hardball' yesterday, and here, after watching one of Freedom Watch's ads, - a wounded soldier on crutches, saying we "can't surrender", followed by a shot of the World Trade Center, on September 11th, 2001, as the second jet is about to crash into the tower - is the exchange between Fleischer and host Mike Barnacle;
BARNICLE: God bless him and God bless his service. We need more noble Americans like that. But I‘d like to ask you, how many Iraqis do you figure were on that plane that you showed the shot of flying into the World Trade Center?

FLEISCHER: Mike, it is not about the 2002 decision to go into Iraq. It‘s about terrorism that exists in Iraq today. It‘s about al Qaeda shooting at our troops today and whether or not Congress is going to abandon this mission and leave Iraq to these terrorists. The 2002 debate is an old, stale debate about why we went into Iraq with Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.

BARNICLE: But Ari...

FLEISCHER: You can relive that all you want. Our troops aren‘t reliving that. They‘re living the fight today.

BARNICLE: Ari, the ad is so powerful—the visual aspect of the ad is so powerful, with that wonderful, noble young man and the sight of that plane flying into the World Trade Center, filled with Saudi terrorists, not Iraqis, could lead several Americans, I would expect, to think that, Oh, Iraq was in on 9/11. Don‘t you think so?

FLEISCHER: Mike, you‘re stuck in the 2001-2002 timetable and debate. It is so far beyond that debate. That‘s like saying we have never should have gone into Germany because, after all, it was just the Japanese who attacked at Pearl Harbor. The threat in Iraq today is a threat that comes from al Qaeda. It comes from separatists. It comes from Sunni and Shia. And the problem is, if we cut now and we surrender now, that area will explode, and of course we‘ll be in greater risk, at greater danger from terrorists who gather there. Of course we will, not only in Afghanistan, but there, as well.
Notice, while Fleischer chides Barnicle about "being stuck in the 2001-2002 timetable and debate", he's using phrases, such as "we cut now" and "we surrender now", and, of course, squeezing in, continuing the Bush Grindhouse branding of "Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction".

Must have been like riding a bicycle for him.

It's a $15-Million ad buy, so while not omnipresent, it is significant.

Throughout the interview, Ari was in form, staying on message, hitting those "stay the course" talking points.

However, true to form of the Bush Grindhouse, using the soldiers as props, Ari came through in flying colors.

Right after the above-referenced Freedom Watch ad finished, Barnicle nailed him;
BARNICLE: What is that soldier‘s name, Ari?

FLEISCHER: Mike, I don‘t have his name in front of me. There are four people, soldiers and their parents who have lost children in battle, as well, who...
Andy Card's head must be exploding ... Launching this in August?

Cue up Que Sera Sera...

Bonus Ari Freedom Watch Links

Watch The Hardball Interview with Mike Barnicle and Ari Fleischer

Joan Walsh: Ari Fleischer, reporting for duty!

Think Progress: Original Iraq War Propagandist Ari Fleischer Returns To Flack For Bush’s Escalation

Tom Matzzie: An open thank you letter to Ari Fleischer

Lies ... Propaganda ... Like riding a bicycle

"I'm Shocked, Shocked To Find Gambling Going On Here! ... You're Winnings, Mr. Allawi"

Oh What A Tangle Web We Weave ...

Boy, that didn't take long.

We go from Saturday, when Bush Grindhouse puppet, Ayad Allawi, pens an Op-Ed in the Washington Post with his plans for Iraq, to today, with a report that the he's getting a big push from some Right-Wing heavy hitters.

Gee, I wonder if there was a connection?

Think Progress has the 411 here.

TPMmucker has it here.

Barbour Griffith & Rogers are the pushers ... Funny coincidence, a firm started by the former head of the RNC, and now, the Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, who also happens to be a big time GOP crony, getting behind the Bush puppet.

Didn't notice that in Baker-Hamilton Report.

Didn't see a section that said to "Replace present Iraqi Government with the lackey puppet you tried installing right after your illegal invasion".

But wait, there's more.

Juan Cole has a report of a possible Military Coup in the offing, which, by the looks of it, doesn't put the Barbour poster boy in the big chair.

And, yes, all this is playing against the backdrop of the latest NIE Report released today released today, indicating high violence and low government in Iraq over the next year.

Sounds like The Commander Guy should have been quoting from the late Graham Chapman, and the rest of Monty Python, and not Graham Greene.

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Retro Rudy ... When The Emperor Has No Clothes, I Guess, We're Supposed To Compliment His Hair ...

Just last week, and earlier this month, The Garlic highlighted the shark-jumping abilities of America's Mayor.

Then, on Saturday, Alex Koppelman, of Salon, dug into Hizzonor's claim of his Ground Zero heroics, and came out with "After 9/11, Rudy wasn't a rescue worker -- he was a Yankee; Giuliani said he spent as much time at ground zero as many rescue workers. Where was he really? Much of the time, at baseball games."

Well, apparently, the shark handlers took umbrage to that characterization.

Joan Walsh has a piece today, detailing the blowback on Koppelman's "After 9/11, "Rudy wasn't a rescue worker -- he was a Yankee" from the National Review, and not one defender, but three;

When the National Review attacks

Not sure how that plays out for the Presidential Pennant Race, when you have to go three-deep into the bullpen to bailout a wannabe Yankee. It's more than probable that's there's a stadium-full of inimical press waiting in the on-deck circle.

Bonus Links

Wayne Barrett: Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11

Where's Ernest Borgnine when you need him?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Tuesday Ticker ... Pithy Randomness ... Part of that "All The Cloves Fit To Peel" Thing

Hmmm ... Possibly, another beginning of a on-going feature ...

The Tuesday Ticker ...Pithy Randomness, from around the World Wide Web (and it goes to that "All The Cloves Fit To Peel" thing) ...

Grab a cup of joe and tick away ...

WOW! .... Really, WOW! ... Here's a jaw-dropper for you ...

Please fasten your seatbelts and place all trays in their upright position ... And please wait for the Captain to turn on the War Mongering sign before invading and occupying another country ...

Ahhhh ... This must be that "Compassionate Conservatism" The Uniter Guy talked about way back when ...

Bonus Ticker

Joe Gandleman: Bush Administration Escalates War Against Middle Income Children’s Health Insurance (UPDATED)

Gee ... It seems it wasn't all that long ago, we'd have the CIA send a Black-Ops team to achieve this ...

Rhy Rofficer, R'I Rasn't Roing Rover Ra Reed Rimit

"Should we smash their camera phones and slap'em upside the head too?

You Say Tomato ... I Say Tomahto ...

Updated/Bonus Tickers

Barry Crimmins ... With A Bullet!

"I Know Something You Don't Know ... I Know Something You Don't Know ..."

And, Let's Go To The Instant Replay On That Slam Dunk

Breaking News! Thompson Responds To FEC Charge, Claiming He's Now Moving Into "Testing Executive Privilege" Phase

Also Invokes "The Cheney Principle", Saying "He's Not Part of The Campaign"

"They can't lay a debutante's glove on me," growled Fred Thompson, former Senator and actor.

Reporters caught up to Thompson this evening, just as he had parked his red pick-up truck, and was about to climb into his sweet silver luxury sedan, asking for a reaction to the Federal Election Commission complaint filed against him today, by blogger and activist Lane Hudson.

"They got spit", bellowed Thompson, as the gaggle of reporters spoke over each other, while the former Nixon snitch buffed his cowboy boots with a $100 bill.

Lane's complaint, filed yesterday, alleges that Thompson, and his Fred Thompson for President Exploratory Committee, have violated, at minimum, 11 FEC statutes dealing with "testing the waters" provision of FEC law.

The charges include violations of fund raising, advertising, and the securing of property for campaign headquarters.

"They might be swinging their lassos, but they won't be roping this bull", snorted Thompson.

Thompson indicated he was confident of getting the Republican nomination and even more confident of being elected President, so "why don't just everybody stop pissing in the chicken coop".

Thompson related that "his people" will be filing paperwork with the FEC in the morning, claiming that "FTPEC" is will now be "testing Executive Privilege", which will "moot" any actions the FEC may be able to take against Thompson.

"They just can't touch it ... It's off limits ... They won't be allowed to issue any subpoenas."

Thompson said that in addition to the claim of "testing Executive Privilege", he will also cite the "Cheney Principle".

"I'm not really part of the campaign," said the possible candidate. "Well, the job of exploratory candidate is an interesting one, because you have a foot in both the campaign and not in the campaign.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride confirmed the Thompson position.

"We are confident that Thompson is conducting his campaign properly under the law," McBride said.

MSNBC 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews says "He'll beat this rap."

"He's a big, beefy guy", chortled Matthews. "He's a big, beefy, mature guy, with sex appeal... Those types don't get tripped up in these little dust-ups ... He's Big Daddy ...Ha! ... He walks into the court, or the hearing room, or whatever and the judge, the commissioner ... Whoever ...They smell the English Leather on this guy ... The Aqua Velva ... That mature man's shaving cream ... With a little bit of cigar smoke mixed in ... Ha! ... You know the type ... He walks out of there without a scratch ...

Matthews was filling in for Thompson advisor, Mary Matalin, who the campaign hasn't quite solved how to utilize Matalin's experience, but without scaring the bejeezes out of everybody.

More as this story develops

"They might be swinging their lassos, but they won't be roping this bull", snorted Thompson

Monday, August 20, 2007

Three For Today ... The Selling of Iraq

As Bette Davis vamped in ''All About Eve', "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"

Despite Andy Card's warning, The Bush Grindhouse has launched, yet again, it's Selling of Iraq and there's going to a whole bevy of bumpy nights before this thing is settled.

Holy Quagmire Batman, how will we ever win the “defining struggle of the 21st century?!”

It ain't looking good.

Two days before the Bush Puppet, Ayad Allawi, offered the latest Administration plan, under the guise of his own great vision for Iraq, Abu Aardvark offered an update on the failed Emergency Political Summit in Iraq, which gave a very bleak view of any hope of a political breakthrough that would send Iraq down that glorious road of Democracy.
"The failure of this emergency summit should be receiving serious attention because it pretty much guarantees that Iraq's political system will be mired in sectarian deadlock when September's showdown in Washington over Iraq policy commences."

Then, almost as a counterattack to the Allawi scheme, the New York Times, looking to build up it's anti-war Karma points, presented the OP-ED "The War As We Saw It", from seven U.S. Soldiers who have, or are, serving in Iraq.

More bleakness.
"To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched ..."

"What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side ..."

"At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably ..."

And then, rather remarkably, there was a sane suggestion, that, perhaps, will shine a spotlight on the Bush Grindhouse's marketing efforts.

Jeralyn Merritt, over on her great blog, 'TalkLeft", had the post "How to Present the Petraeus Report", detailing a proposal from conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt that asks the Bush Grindhouse to allow Golden Boy, General David Petraeus, and his sidekick, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, to be interviewed about the report by the "New Media".

This would include television, print and blogs, both liberal and conservative, pro-war and anti-war.

Quite likely, this suggestion came close to causing a short circuit in Dick Cheney's - he, the great prognosticator - new ticker.

They could count on some of the suggested participants to carry their flag, but not being able to control the questions ... Taking the chance of Petraeus or Crocker strolling off-message ...

Great idea but I think you could bet your deck of "Personality Identification Playing Cards" that the Bush Grindhouse will not endorse or go through with it.

Bonus Links

McClatchy Newspapers: Despite violence drop, officers see bleak future for Iraq

Glenn Greenwald: How much credence should Gen. Petraeus' reports be given?

Barry Crimmins with 'Down with the King!'

I can freely admit that I know very little about coal mining, beyond anecdotal newspaper and magazine articles read, or the viewing of the great John Sayles film, 'Matawan', as well as the tremendous 'October Sky' (both films, incidentally, starred heralded character actor Chris Cooper - little wonder why both films were so good).

So watching last week, the unfolding, that got grimmer-and-grimmer (as in today, with the reports that the six trapped miners are, in all likelihood, dead, and won't be recovered), news of the Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse in Utah, while I couldn't comment as an expert, I certainly could see that there was just too much wrong about this picture.

For one, you had mine owner, Robert Murray (admit it, it crossed your mind that he had to be the runner-up to Joe DeRita, in final run of the Three Stooges) giving his folksy, and ever so anguished, press conferences, often lying, blaming the initial, as well as subsequent, collapses on "seismic events", shielding away any discussion about his dangerous process of "Retreat Mining".

And you had the Bush Grindhouse, rushing to the scene Mine Safety and Health Administration Director Richard Stickler, a man so odious that he was rejected by the Senate for the post, so the Decider Guy had to sneak him in the back door with a recess appointment.

Not surprising that our good friend, Barry Crimmins, took on the story, with his post last Friday "Down with the King!".

And when you visit, be sure to take a good, long look at the "moonscape" photograph on what's left over after a mining operation

Bonus Links

Crooks and Liars: Bob Murray uses Utah mining tragedy to attack Global Warming

Max Follmer: Utah Mine Owner Attacked Post-Sago Safety Proposals

Arianna Huffington: Why Are the New York Times and So Much of the Traditional* Media Neglecting a Vital Part of the Utah Mine Collapse Story?

Mine Owner Bob Murray has been pointing to everything but himself regarding the Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse

Sad News Today ... The Passing of Vocalist Jon Lucien

Last week, it was Max Roach... Today, first news that popped up when I opened my email was that of the passing of the great vocalist, Jon Lucien.

His singing was like musically poetry, creatively being more than words, but also painting a vivid image, building its own, lush atmosphere.

If he were breaking out today, he would likely, and quite erroneously, be shoehorned into the "smooth jazz" category.

Lucien sang romance and ballads with the best of them, and was brilliant at fusing Jazz, Latin and World riffs into his music, his rich baritone voice taking you on a peaceful journey.

When I pulled up his site, the music played, and the first three tunes - Rashida, Lady Love, and Dindi (Lucien's is my second favorite rendition; The late Willie Bobo has what I consider the best) - just took me back ...

In the 70's and 80's, and I lived in a few different cities to know, Jazz DJ's all over had Lucien in their rotations. And it always brought a smile, and a good feeling, when one of his tunes popped up.

Take a visit to his website, and leave it up in a window for a little while, to soak up the sounds ...

Jon Lucien Website

Didn't find any MSM Obit, or other news of the passing, so you can check these out;

JazzCorner: Jon Lucien RIP

All About Jazz: Jon Lucien RIP

Update Wed 22 August

Well, it took a few days for the MSM to catch up.

New York Times: Jon Lucien, Smooth Singer of Mellow Jazz and Soul, Dies at 65

Denver Post: Jazz great Jon Lucien dies at 65

Miami Herald: JON LUCIEN, 65, Jazz singer, song composer, musician

JazzTimes: Singer Jon Lucien Dies at 65