Monthly Archives: June 2008

Your President Speaks!

Today, at theWhite House, following a meeting with President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines.

A Lot Of American-Americans, Too

First, I want to tell you how proud I am to be the President of a nation that — in which there’s a lot of Philippine-Americans.

And When My Room Is Cleaned

And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the — of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House.

There Is Some

I know there’s some families that are hurting.

The Importance Of Desiring The Advancing Of The Moving Forwarding

We talked about our mutual desire to advance how important it is to move forward the bilateral and multilateral trade agendas.

There’s Peace Available

The President has been very strong in having a carrots-and-sticks approach — “sticks,” of course, say we’re not going to allow for people to terrorize our citizens; the “carrot” approach is that there’s peace available.

The You-Knows

Some are wondering whether or not their loved ones will, you know, reappear. We, the American people, care about the human suffering that’s taking place, and we send our prayers.

We talked about, you know, food, and I assured the President we’ll continue to help.

And, you know, I’m proud of my country.

British Airways angered by Bush visit’s disruption of 40,000 passengers

From the Guardian:

British Airways has criticised Heathrow owner BAA for allowing
George Bush to fly into the UK’s biggest airport, forcing the
cancellation of at least 69 flights and disrupting the travel plans of
40,000 passengers.

Willie Walsh, BA chief executive, said he was
angry that the presidential entourage, which included two Boeing 747
jets and four helicopters, caused chaos 10 days ago as runways were
closed and planes grounded. “The decision to allow President Bush and
his fleet of aircraft to fly into Heathrow rather than a military base
was one all of Heathrow’s users could have done without,” he said. “I
am also angry that this was allowed.”

Walsh said the disruption
began two days before the president’s visit on June 15 and lasted for
the two days that his party stayed in the UK. Heathrow was reduced to
one working runway for 30 minutes on June 15 and 16, after its other
runway was closed temporarily for the arrival and departure of Air
Force One.

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Appeasement!

Q Dana, is the United States considering opening an interest section in Iran? How close are we to reaching a decision on that, and why would the U.S. do that?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think that Secretary Rice said it best yesterday when she said that there might be some ideas out — floating out there, but there’s nothing concrete at the moment. In regards to us reaching out and talking directly to the Iranians, President Bush goes out of his way every time he talks about the Iranian issue, which is often; he gets asked about it and he brings it up proactively himself.

[snip]

Q Is it consistent with the idea of isolating Iran to open a U.S. interest section there?

MS PERINO: I think that — I don’t know a lot about U.S. interest offices, but I know that there’s — as I read, there’s one in Cuba. So I think that we’ve — it’s not unprecedented, and so I don’t think it’s inconsistent, no.

Chimpy Owes His Second Term To 9/11

Q And on another subject, the President supports John McCain as far as being the next President of the United States. But what does the President and this administration say about one of McCain’s inner circle saying that a terrorist attack on this country would be a big advantage for McCain?

MS. PERINO: Again, I’m not — I’m just not going to get into it and get the President involved in disputes between the campaigns.

Q This administration has been fighting vigorously against terror on the homeland. For him to say it’s a big advantage, somebody that the President supports his campaign, I mean —

MS. PERINO: I also saw that the individual who said that apologized. And so I think I would point you to that apology.

“The Reporting I’ve Seen On The Ground – That I’ve Read From Reporters”

Q The new GAO report, critical of progress in Iraq — what’s the White House comment on that?

MS. PERINO: Well, I just think that you have to look at facts on the ground in terms of the reporting. I don’t know — I don’t know what the parameters were for the GAO report. I think that from what I’ve read of it, it’s inconsistent with the reporting on the ground that I’ve seen — that I’ve read from reporters of the news media who were there. And certainly it doesn’t — it’s not consistent with some of the facts that we have here. And I would point you to the rebuttals that the State Department and the Treasury Department provided to GAO, saying that they thought that their report was way off-base.

Progress in Iraq is undeniable. And I think one of the things that you can point to is not just the political and security gains, but certainly the economic gains that they’ve had, as well. And we should all be celebrating that and working towards it.

Les Screws The Pooch

Q Thank you, Dana. Two questions. In the President’s real hope that we will have a presidential election that is fair to both sides, he was concerned by what The Washington Times reported that one of the two presidential campaigns sent a plane load of reporters back to Washington while this candidate, without telling them, slipped away to stay in Chicago, at which “several bureau chiefs and the Associated Press accused him of deliberate deception.” And my question: Without mentioning which candidate did this, could you tell us if you have ever heard — (laughter) — could you tell us if you ever heard of President Bush so mistreating reporters during either of his two presidential campaigns?

MS. PERINO: I think that the reporters are going to have to take that up with the presidential nominee that you are referring to. But I think you have your facts wrong in terms of the legs of that trip.

Q The facts wrong? You reported — that was The Washington Times.

MS. PERINO: Wrong flight, going the other way.

Sunday Question Post: City Mouse, Country Mouse

Where do you live? City, ‘burbs, country, house, apartment, pup tent on the open road?

A.

Well, I’m Back

What did I miss? And why hasn’t anyone cleaned up after all these ferrets?

Slow Learners

AKA, “Republikkkans”.

More Americans now say that the United States is less respected in the world than it has been in the past, and a growing proportion views this as a major problem for the country. More than seven-in-ten Americans (71%) say that the United States is less respected by other countries these days, up from 65% in August 2006.

For the first time since Pew began asking this question in 2004, a majority of Americans now sees the loss of international respect for the United States as a major problem. The percentage of Americans saying the loss of international respect is a major problem has risen from 43% in 2005 to 48% in 2006 and 56% currently.

The most recent national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 21-25 among 1,505 adults, finds that majorities of Democrats (81%), independents (72%) and Republicans (60%) believe that the United States has lost global respect in recent years.

In particular, Republican opinion about international respect for America has shifted substantially over the past two years. A clear majority of Republicans (60%) now say the nation is less respected in the international community, an increase of 12 points since August 2006. Moreover, 43% of Republicans say the loss of global respect represents a major problem, compared with just 26% two years ago.

Doug Feith Takes Your Questions

Scout, who likes to raise my blood pressure as early as possible in the day, sends this over to the Doug Feith Desk here at First Draft World HQ. And I pass it along to you all.Be polite. Not because he deserves it, but because you do.

For what it’s worth, here are mine:

Why did your book not address the scandal overLarry Franklin’s resignation and subsequent guilty plea? Did you not feel it was important to explain why your office harbored a traitor?

If you truly felt that the Bush administration was taking the wrong tack by proposing a lengthy occupation of Iraq, as you’ve posited innumerous interviews, why did you not resign and speak up immediately, and try to save thousands of Iraqi and American lives?

A.

CNN: FEMA Gave Away $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims

It’s just incredible we’re still finding out craplike this happened:

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) — FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims, a CNN investigation has found.

The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat
in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management
Agency’s giveaway to federal and state agencies this year.

James
McIntyre, FEMA’s acting press secretary, said that FEMA was spending
more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another
agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so “we needed to vacate them.”

SNIP

FEMA
said some of the items were donations from companies after Katrina, but
most were purchased in the field as “starter kits” for people living in
trailers provided by the agency. And even though the stocks were
offered to state agencies after FEMA decided to get rid of them, one of
the states that passed was Louisiana.

Martha Kegel, the head of a New Orleans nonprofit agency that helps
find homes for those still displaced by the storm, said she was shocked
to learn about the existence of the goods and the government giveaway.

SNIP

Kegel said FEMA was told in regular meetings that Unity was
desperate for household supplies and that the group has been forced to
beg for donations. But she said FEMA never told Unity and other
community groups that it had tens of millions of dollars worth of
brand-new items meant for storm victims.

She said she learned of it from CNN, which found that those items never made it to people such as Debra Reed.

“An honest person like me didn’t get nothing,” said Reed, 54, who
recently moved from a tent beneath a New Orleans bridge to a home with
the help of Kegel’s group. “I’m gonna turn, ’cause I’m gonna cry. I
didn’t get nothing. I fought to get my money, but they wouldn’t give it
to me. So I ended up going under the bridge.”

FEMA confirmed that it had kept the merchandise in storage for the past
two years and then gave it away to cities, schools, fire departments
and nonprofit agencies such as food banks. In all, General Services
Administration records show, FEMA gave away 121 truckloads of material.

SNIP

Pallets at the Fort Worth warehouse were piled high with boxes of
buckets, boots, cleansers, mops and brooms. There were stacks of tents,
lanterns and camp stoves for people still displaced, as well as
clothing, bedding, plates and utensils.

Meanwhile, Kegel said,
Unity’s clients can take only “one fork, one spoon, one knife; they can
only take one plate. We don’t have enough to go around.”

But FEMA said the items were no longer needed in the stricken region. So it declared them “federal surplus” and gave them away.

SNIP

These items also were offered to all states — yet Louisiana, where
most of the people displaced by the storm live, passed on taking any of
them.

John Medica, director of the Louisiana Federal Property
Assistance Agency in Baton Rouge, said he was unaware that Katrina
victims still had a need for the household supplies.

“We didn’t have anybody out there who told us they wanted it,” Medica said.

Instead, 16 other states took the free items.

Kegel said she could not understand how Medica could not be aware of the need in the New Orleans area.

I know given everything I shouldn’t be surprised but Damn

RIP: George Carlin

Damn

One of my favorites… place for your Stuff:

My Humble Suggestions for Changes to the Political Discourse


To start with, carry one of these at all times.

So. The pendejo-in-chief went to Israel and compared Barack Obama’s idea of negotiating with Iran (you know, a sovereign nation-state that has divergent interests from ours, which makes them eeeeeevil) to, and I’m not kidding, the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930’s.

That’s right.

Let’s look at what Bushactually read off of the TelePrompTer. First, he said this crazy shit:

My only regret is that one of Israel’s greatest
leaders is not here to share this moment. He is a warrior for the ages, a
man of peace, a friend. The prayers of the American people are with Ariel
Sharon. 

A four-year-old child would call bullshit on that. It’s kind of hard to be “a warrior for the ages” and “a man of peace” at the same time. Maybe, if you were a reluctant warrior, likeCincinnatus, or George Washington, that descriptionmight apply. But to Ariel Sharon? That’s just crazy talk. Oh, and my prayers aren’t with him. They’re not with anyone else, either; they’re all entreaties to the Lottery God for me to hit the Powerball.

But that’s just the warm-up for the full-on batshit insanity.

    The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of
our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a
great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the
ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the
other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by
committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

    This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but
at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers
claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who
prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent
child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into
office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who
carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for
power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special
hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and
Israelis.

    And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the
“elimination” of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant
“Death to Israel, Death to America!” That is why Osama bin Laden teaches
that “the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties.” And
that is why the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to
the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

    There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in
these men and try to explain away their words. It’s natural, but it is
deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn
responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen
the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred.
And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

   Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists
and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have
been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi
tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if
I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We
have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of
appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
(Applause.)

How about that?

Okay. First of all, the text as presented here is not what Bush said. He said “genius” in the last quoted paragraph above, not “ingenious.” Check the audio if you don’t believe me. But that’s a minor thing. Check out that weak-ass “Some seem to believe” construction. Can this man say anything straight? If you have a problem with a single person’s argument, call that person out. Don’t pull this passive shit of “some think” or “some believe” or “there are those who say.” That bullshit doesn’t fly in high school essays. Shouldn’t we expect better from our President? Also, the Senator who Bush quoted?He was a Republican. From Idaho. You know, the “real” America. And, finally, WHAT THE FUCK? You’re going to the Knesset to compare an American Presidential candidate’s to strategy to the appeasement of Adolf Fucking Hitler? I’m kind of shocked they didn’t give him the bum’s rush right there. Way to a) demean the political process of your own country and b) beamazingly insulting to your hosts. There’s no fucking way al-Qaeda, or Hamas, or Iran pose a threat to anyone similar to the way Germany menaced its neighbors in the late 1930’s. Germany was one of the most powerful states in the world at that time. Iran is a weak, weak country. Hamas only has a pseudo-state. And al-Qaeda? They got nothin’ in terms of ability to destroy another state. The entities listed above certainly do not pose a genocidal threat to Israeli Jews, irrespective of public bluster to that effect. You just can’t compare the experience of European Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s to Israeli Jews today. Last I checked, there was no IDF in Europe in the mid-20th century. Let’s recap: the State of Israel was founded, in large part, because of the desire of Jews to have a state (and a military) so that the events of the Holocaust could not be repeated. There’s no WAY some punk motherfucker living in a cave is gonna be able to have a genocidal impact on the modern Israeli state. 

And, as for negotiating, it’s what the Israelis (and the Americans) have to do with hostile countries. I mean, I don’t recall us invading and conquering the Soviet Union, do you? I seem to remember summits and treaties, even though there was definite hostility between East & West. And, as I’m sure you realize, those thousands and thousands of nuclear warheadsdid pose an existential threat to us back then. 

So Bush goes to a different country to, in his bullshit passive-agressive way, call out a member of a rival political party back home. So much for “politics ends at the water’s edge,” huh?

Now we get to the important part: My suggestions.

  1. Fight back. Amazingly, the Democrats actually are pushing back on this. In the past, my party has kind of meekly accepted bullshit like this, hoping that people would see it for what it is and, on their own, dismiss it as crap. Well, people do tend to dismiss the dumb-ass rhetoric (except for the fucking dittoheads, and there’s not much you can do about them). What they don’t dismiss is watching someone get punched in the face and then do nothing about it. When someone hits you in the nose, you don’t stand there waiting for an apology. You kick that motherfucker right in the nuts, then crush his nose with an uppercut while he’s doubled over in pain. And that’s the kind of shit that will win you the votes of people whothink the Republicans represent strength, but don’t see through their charade to just how fucking weak they are.
  2. When confronting bullshit, use language appropriate to the material you’re dealing with. Senator Clinton, even though I appreciate her statement, called Bush’s remarks “offensive and outrageous.” (Which, by the way, is the same phrase she used when talking about Rev. Jeremiah Wright.) C’mon, Senator. Don’t stop there. Say “offensive, outrageous, andfuckin stupid. Does the President really think we can’t tell the difference between some sorry motherfucker in a cave, or some douchebag wearing ill-fitting sports coats, and Adolf Fucking Hitler? Hey, George, here’s a news flash: We’re not as stupid as you, you fuck.” I mean, when your opponent goes Godwin on you, it’s time to hammer the shit out of him or her for being an idiot. Somehow, Joe Biden seems to understand a little bit of this point. Good on him. And that’s not something you’ll hear me say very often.

Now, there are some (heh heh) who will say that this crude language only cheapens our discourse. To them I say: Shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down. The word “fuck” doesn’t poison our discourse. But comparing your political opponents’ strategy to appeasing Hitler, especially when speaking in front of the Israeli parliament, does. And before you can say “MoveOn had an ad where they compared Bush to Hitler,” shut your fucking trap. First of all, that’s not what happened. Second, even if it had, MoveOn is not an elected fucking official of the United States of America. It’s certainly not the most prominent elected official in the entire fucking country. 

So, to George Bush, and his speechwriters, we say: Fuck you, you fuckin’ fucks.

Cheney’s Idea of Flowers and Candy

Oy.

BAGHDAD, Iraq — One U.S. soldier was killed and five others were wounded today in a bizarre shooting incident near the town of Salman Pak, south of Baghdad, according to U.S. and Iraqi authorities.

Iraqi authorities said a member of the town council, which is part of the U.S.-allied Iraqi government, carried out the shootings,

An Iraqi police captain, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the incident, said local council member Raed Hmood Ajil opened fire on the U.S. troops for unknown reasons and was killed at the scene by American forces. The account could not immediately be verified.

The U.S. military could confirm only that “initial reports indicate one Coalition forces (soldier) killed in action, five Coalition forces soldiers wounded in action and one enemy killed in action” at 1 p.m. today in the Salman Pak area.

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Welcome Back, Ms. Peroxide

MS. PERINO: Hello, everybody. I don’t have anything to start off with, so —

Q The stock market is down, the oil prices are up. I take it that this wasn’t the outcome you would have wanted from the energy summit.

Q Yes, things are going to hell in a hand basket.

MS. PERINO: Will attribute that to Bill Plante. (Laughter.) Look, look back to what we said going into the conference, which is that this is going to take a long time for us to deal with. There’s no magic wand, it’s not going to be a problem that we solve overnight.

[snip]

Q Wouldn’t more supply in the short term help more quickly than long-term planning for oil that can’t be gathered for another 10 years?

MS. PERINO: I think that the important thing to do in regards to the long-term planning is to send a signal to the market so that they know that this time the government of the United States is serious.

[snip]

So there’s a long-term answer and there’s a — there’s not a real good short-term answer. And we’ve been very explicit about that from the beginning.

Q But the short-term problem is what seems to upset people as they go to fill their cars up every day.

MS. PERINO: We absolutely are sympathetic. We understand. Many of us are consumers, too.

Dana Don’t Know!

Q Yes, ma’am. Dana, back on the energy issue, you said we should not expect a short-term fix. Are you saying that in the next seven months, we shouldn’t see anything really new, or any major changes before this President leaves this White House?

MS. PERINO: April, that’s impossible for me to say.

Other Gaglers Hate Les

Q Thank you, Dana. Two questions. The President believes that the First Amendment, freedom of speech and the press, should not be denied to radio and television by the so-called Fairness Doctrine, doesn’t he?

MS. PERINO: That’s correct.

Q That’s correct. Republican congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which needs only 24 more signatures on a discharged petition to go to the House floor for a vote. And my question: Since, in the House, both of Maryland’s Republicans have supported the Broadcaster Freedom Act, but all six of Maryland’s Democrats have refused to do so, the President recognizes this as an indication the Democrats generally want the return of the Fairness Doctrine’s on-air censorship, doesn’t he?

MS. PERINO: Well, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case, but it sounds like you have some lobbying work to do up on Capitol Hill, so we should dispatch you up there and see if you can get it done.

Q He’s not allowed to lobby and hold a press pass at the same time, remind him. (Laughter.)

Q Thank you very much. Thank you very much, CBS. (Laughter.)

His Most Awesome Responsibility

Morelaw-breaking from the Bush Assministration.

Ten months after Congress passed a law establishing a White House coordinator for preventing nuclear terrorism, President Bush has no plans to create the high-level post any time soon, according to the National Security Council.

The provision – suggested by leading members of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – was contained in 2007 legislation designed to improve homeland defenses. Congress passed it by a wide margin, with bipartisan support.

Some congressional leaders said Bush’s failure to fill the job nearly a year later marks an outright evasion of the law, and called on the president to fill the position swiftly, even though his administration has only seven months left in office.

“Congress and a range of bipartisan experts, including 9/11 commissioners, clearly judged that such a position would help strengthen the effectiveness of the administration’s handling of [weapons of mass destruction] proliferation matters,” the office of Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, said in a statement. “The Congress passed and the president signed into law this requirement.”

When asked this month why the position remains unfilled, the National Security Council described it as an internal matter still under deliberation.

[snip]

The White House opposed creating the position from the start. In a January 2007 letter to Congress – six months before the law was adopted – the Bush administration wrote that the appointment of a nuclear antiterrorism chief “is unnecessary given extensive coordination and synchronization mechanisms that now exist within the executive branch,” citing a 2006 strategy document that lays out the responsibilities of numerous government departments.

But in the past, Bush has tried to bypass provisions of laws he disagrees with by issuing “signing statements,” documents singling out those parts of statutes that White House lawyers advised would infringe on his constitutional powers as chief of the government’s executive branch. Bush has used this practice more than any prior president.

This time, however, the White House seems to be ignoring the nuclear terrorism coordinator requirement not for constitutional reasons but simply because the administration thinks it is a bad idea. It is a stance some legal scholars called an even more blatant disregard of the checks and balances on presidential power.

There’s A Stunner

Look. I drove home yesterday from a picnic in a rainstorm, listening to the radio simulcast of the60 Minutes program on this. Very instructive in some ways (seriously, of course nobody speaking Arabic would monitor this thing, actual knowledge of anything that could prove useful is a drawback in this administration), very annoying in others, in that everybody involved just seemed shocked as hell that an American propaganda channel was viewed by its audience as … an American propaganda channel. How dare those Arab rubes not swallow the freedom we so generously feed them? How dare they be aware of the most basic facts about something? The nerve!

And as usual the “You’re PAYING for this!” construct pisses me off. Not that I’m thrilled to be shelling out cash for something that doesn’t work, but in the realm of Iraq War fuckups, this one hardly cracks the top ten. Get back to me about Al Hurra when we’ve stopped paying Halliburton.

A.

Obama Photo: Screw The Nixon Bagmen Edition

Because the slimy motherfuckers — Freddoso, Corsi — who came for John Kerry are coming for him. The media’s favorite candidate? Seriously? When was the last time anyone gave Obama a box of donuts? Last I checked they wouldn’t even let the poor guy have a waffle.

A.

With It or Upon It, Bitches

Got a rep on this list?

You know what to do. And don’t bother telling me it won’t make a difference. I can sit here, do nothing, and it won’t make a difference, or I can write to the Illinois congresscritters on the list (mine voted the right way, bless his perpetually elected and mostly oblivious heart) and tell them I’m angry, and disappointed, and their primary challengers will be getting my money. Which might not make a difference. But the uncertainty is enough to make the ten minutes it’s going to take worth it. I got ten minutes to read I Can Haz Cheezburger, I got ten minutes for this. So light ’em up, bitches. Not. One. Inch.

A.

ps. Title courtesy of jjj in the comments below.