Archive for September 4th, 2007

Quote Of The Day

From WaPo’s OFF/beat blog:

Future News Prediction: President Bush adroitly points out that despite repeated and often ferocious insurgent attacks, Darth Vader always stayed the course.

They’re like twins, really.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leEsz9ci5XE

1 comment September 4th, 2007 at 11:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes

Labor Day Jet/Cop Photoblogging

Note: Not Jet Cop Photoblogging.

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One of the unions brought a jet engine. Awesome!

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Best thing I heard during the parade: “They don’t play music. They’re policemen.”

September 4th, 2007 at 10:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Our Ten-Year-Old President

From Slate, by way of The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin:

[P]ress secretary Tony Snow stepped into the doorway to ask about the daily press briefing he was about to conduct. Bush offered some suggestions for how to defer questions about his Iraq strategy.

“Good. Perfect. Sorry to interrupt,” Snow said as he vacated the room.

“It’s okay,” remarked Bush. “This is worthless, anyway.” Then, in a sudden bellow: “I’d like an ice cream! Please! You want some ice cream, Robert?”

…And then they went out to the White House lawn to shoot at birds with BB guns.

Can we please get a grown-up in the White House now? I’m begging here.

September 4th, 2007 at 09:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Wankers

The Hulk King Of Wishful Thinking

Maybe it’s time for Ted Stevens to trade in his Hulk tie for a Tinkerbell tie:

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens says he believes the worst of global climate change may be over.

Stevens says the Earth is at the end of a long warming period, perhaps as much as 700 to 900 years.

He says that if the Earth is close to the end of that, it means the planet will start getting cooler gradually.

Stevens spoke while discussing Shishmaref, a Chukchi Sea community that has been hit hard by erosion because sea ice no longer provides it protection from fall storms.

Stevens says with the Earth cooler, stability might come to that region again.

The president of Alaska Conservation Solutions, a group focused on global warming issues in Alaska, says Stevens theory on warming is a new one.

Deborah Williams says it’s the opposite of the findings of an international panel of scientists earlier this year.

Williams says she has not heard of any credible climatologist who believes that the Earth is going to cool.

She says that to the best of her knowledge, every climatologist believes that the Earth is going to warm, in large part because of human greenhouse gas emissions.

It sounds to me like Ted thinks that global warming will stop because, well, it just has to.

I got news for you, Ted. Nature really doesn’t care if we’re screwed. Hell, if I were Nature, I’d be doing everything I could to get rid of us.

September 4th, 2007 at 09:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Republicans

Great Moments In Leadership

I just wanted to follow up a bit on my previous post, about the little… disagreement between Dubya and Paul Bremer as to whether Bremer went off the reservation in ordering the dissolution of the Iraqi military.

First, let me just recap Dubya’s priceless response to said dissolution:

“The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”

But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.

Which prompted Bremer to produce the letter proving that he gave Dubya a heads-up on what he planned to do.

So, I think there are two possibilities here:

1) Dissolving the Iraqi military was the policy, and Dubya just doesn’t want to admit it because it turned out so disastrously, or…

2) Dubya didn’t pay any attention to Bremer’s letter, no-one (including Bremer) told him what he was about to do… and Dubya didn’t care. No-one got fired, and Dubya doesn’t even remember reacting to it, merely theorizes that he would have asked what happened.

So he’s either a great big liar, or the weakest, most oblivious president of all time.

Tough choice.

September 4th, 2007 at 09:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Republicans

The Emperor’s Pants Are On Fire

Don’t you just hate it when people won’t stay under the bus?

A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.

Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”

The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.

(…)

After recounting American efforts to remove members of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein from civilian agencies, Mr. Bremer told Mr. Bush that he would “parallel this step with an even more robust measure” to dismantle the Iraq military.

One day later, Mr. Bush wrote back a short thank you letter. “Your leadership is apparent,” the president wrote. “You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.”

You know, I kinda get the idea that Dubya never even read that letter.

The story does seem to be engineered to give both Dubya and Bremer an out: Sure, it says, Bremer gave Dubya a heads-up, but it was kind of buried and mentioned in passing, and Rumsfeld was the one Bremer was really talking to about this. (And what are the odds of Rummy clawing his way out from under the bus to make his old boss look bad?)

And besides, reconstituting the Iraqi Army was an impractical bad idea anyway! It’s much easier to build a new army from scratch than to try to track all those soldiers down!

As always, the spin and the ass-covering are far more important than the actual outcomes. Iraq could be wiped out in a giant nuclear explosion, and the Bushies would consider it a very good thing, just so long as they could blame it on the Democrats (see also: Republican post-withdrawal doomsday scenarios).

1 comment September 4th, 2007 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Republicans,Wankers

The Dora Explorers

By way of Atrios & Kevin Drum, WaPo has the story of the military’s showcase Potemkin village that they use to give gullible visitors the illusion that The Surge is going just great, and Iraq is a thriving success story.

Drum suggests:

But how many of these showcase neighborhoods are there? Visitors could come to Iraq by the planeload and all report back that they were individually impressed with what they saw, but how meaningful is this if it turns out they all saw the same few places? Are there thousands of Dora markets around Iraq? Hundreds? A couple of dozen? My guess is the latter, but we really don’t know, do we? Maybe all those visitors ought to think about getting together and comparing notes. They might discover something interesting.

But they won’t; because they saw what they wanted to see. I would be very surprised if the Dora dog & pony show changed the mind of anyone truly dead-set against the war. I think it’s more a matter of providing a convenient excuse to support The Surge… and voting to give the Iraqupation as much time and money as Dubya wants.

I would venture to guess that the congresscritters who are convinced by Dora are the same ones who really want to hear what “The Petraeus Report” has to say.

September 4th, 2007 at 11:13am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Politics

Labor Day Signage Blogging

John Edwards was not the only presidential candidate with a presence here yesterday:

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Huzzah! We are saved!

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Edwards’ sign was a lot bigger, though.

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… And here’s the back of it.

2 comments September 4th, 2007 at 07:42am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Hillary’s Bold New Strategy

In short, it appears to be, “Vote for me; I’m a status quo Establishment hack who will pander to Republicans!”

Maybe voters will be impressed with her honesty…

September 4th, 2007 at 07:08am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections,Politics


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