"Just Give Me Some Truth."

-- John Lennon, who got bullets instead I hate to say I told you so So almost a 500 point drop on the Dow. And triggered by a selloff in China? Oh well I don't know if it all get lost in the flurry of news about the bombing in Afghanistan or the massacre in Iraq. But the White House's Iranian made weapons story seems to have collapsed. As Paul Kiel notes in this morning's Must Read, stories in today's Times and Journal detail a new raid on a makeshift weapons factory in southern Iraq. It turns out this makeshift factory in Iraq was making those super-IEDs that we were told could only be made in Iran. And the parts the Iraqis were using to make the bombs? Shipped from factories from around the Middle East, but not Iran. Uh....never mind Today's Must Read: just two weeks after the administration's rollout of evidence that Iran is supplying weapons to insurgents in Iraq, a raid turns up new evidence that undermines the case. But.... but.... but... Army Chief of Staff: Finding bin Laden not "all that important." The American voters aren't ready for.... Just a reminder, Gallup. 2/9-11. Adults. MoE 3% (no trend lines) If your party nominated a well-qualified Candidate For WH '08 who was _, would you vote for that person?

Yes No

Catholic 95% 4%

Black 94 5

Jewish 92 7

A woman 88 11

Hispanic 87 12

Mormon 72 24

Married for third time 67 30

72 years old 57 42

A homosexual 55 43

An atheist 45 53

Comfort- With Would

able Reserv- Not

ations Vote

Black 84% 9% 5%

A woman 78 10 11

Mormon 58 14 24

72 years old 43 15 42

Married for

third time 54 13 30

 

[The media has] spent a lot of time discussing whether an African-American or a woman will have a hard time attracting votes. Meanwhile, opinion polls tell us that most people are fine with voting for people who fit those descriptions, but that people are less fine voting for an old guy, a twice-divorced guy, or a Mormon. The media coverage of these issues has been backwards relative to what the polls say. In decreasing order, people happy to vote for: black guy, chick, Mormon, twice-divorced guy, old guy. Judging by the news coverage you'd think the first three are the most troublesome for voters, when opinion polls tell us that it's actually the last two.

Laura in Bush World Proving that you don't have to be an official member of the Bush administration to be completely wrong about Iraq, in an appearance on last night's Larry King Live, Laura Bush weighed in with her deep thoughts:

And many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody.

Yes, it's that one bombing a day that's getting us all down. But of course, as is often (always) the case with her husband, reality tells another story. And reality says that during this week alone, there has been 34 bombings in Iraq, which works out to nearly 5 a day. But perhaps we should cut the First Decider some slack because after all, she has to live, 24/7, with the knowledge that there are troops in harms way. And how does she "balance" the stress of that knowledge?

...we go to church. We exercise together, we watch movies together. We do all the other things that -- watch baseball on television, for instance -- that we both find relaxing.

KING: Do you -- do you talk about it a lot?

BUSH: We talk about it a lot. I mean, we live it.

So there you have it. From the beautiful White House, Laura and George Bush are living the war in Iraq.

Corruption watch Rep. Jefferson's (D-LA) accomplices head to the slammer while Jefferson chills on Capitol Hill.

Corruption watch, Part II Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) has spent the last couple years mired in scandal over his administration's rampant cronyism. You'd think that would at least guarantee something in the way of loyalty from his fellow Republicans, wouldn't you? The man knows who his friends are. But no, Fletcher's running for re-election and his own lietenant governor has gone ahead and endorsed his rival in the primary. How it must burn.

What liberal media? C-SPAN continues to claim copyright over congressional hearings, even demanding Nancy Pelosi take down a YouTube clip of a committee hearing. Any entity that claims it owns the proceedings of our democracy is on dangerously thin ice. It's time for Pelosi to end that undemocratic monopoly.

That's putting it nicely Canned New Mexico US Attorney calls his dismissal a "political fragging." And tomorrow he's holding a press conference. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) isn't happy that the administration fired "competent and successful" federal prosecutors in order to make way for "young politically-connected lawyers." Read her letter to Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the issue here.

Obamania rolls on Visiting Ohio yesterday, Obama pulled a bigger crowd than a recent visit by Bill Clinton himself. See this and other campaign updates here.

What liberal media? Part II Solomon lands another lunker! Sen. Clinton failed to list charitable contributions on ethics report. Jon Chait picks it apart. This of course comes on the heels of his bogus McCain story. Basically, once you take the hocus pocus and disingenuousness out of his pieces, this is what they end up like. Doesn't this stuff make the Post look a touch silly putting this on the front page? It's barely worth a blog post. Here's the shocking truth revealed -- the Clinton Foundation's publically available 990 forms with their donations listed on page 18 and 19.

This so deserves a contest. Because there are so many possibilities. Send us (TPM.com) your entry for the most idiotic, dishonest or just plain ridiculously wrong quote from our vice president, Dick Cheney. You can go all the way back to January 2001. There's definitely a good amount of low hanging fruit. So on those really glaring examples we all know about it, we'll go with the first reader who sends them in. But there are just so many more. We'll take the entries and put them together in a top ten list. The top three win a prized TPM mug for the contestant. As for judging rules, we'll grade them not only on inherent mumbojumbo and/or the delusional quality of the quote, but also on how well known the quote is. So if it's one of the two or three Cheney whoppers that easily comes off everyone's lips, that might not get as high as a score as another that's a bit more off the beaten path. Anyway, you get the idea. Every quote must have a verifiable source to authenticate it -- link to a transcript, an article in a reputable news outlet, etc. To qualify, you must send in the link to verify the quote. So, you got the rules. Now, let's do it. Send your entry to the comments email address over there on the upper right. And include the subject heading "Cheney Lyin' Fool Sweepstakes." Multiple entries are OK; but only one quote per email.

Humor with a (sharp) point After a perfect segue, Colbert dedicates his 'Wørd' to the news that Tony Blair has decided to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. video_wmv Download (4993) | Play (4517) video_mov Download (2093) | Play (2784)

Colbert: When America pulls out of a country, it's a disaster. Remember what happened in Vietnam…

Bullet: Somebody Should Have

What liberal media? Part III Larry Johnson chronicles the Post's shilling for Scooter Libby.

Long overdue Bill to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ coming tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon, Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) will re-introduce The Military Readiness Enhancement Act, his bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allow gays to serve openly. Today, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network highlighted the story of Serena, an African-American lesbian currently serving in Iraq. An excerpt from Serena:

Sometimes the constant looking around, whispering, speaking in code, and backpedaling to correct a slip of the tongue wears out my psyche. But it’s what I have to do to continue a career that I love very much and maintain a relationship with the girlfriend who I love very much. I appreciate her unyielding support, her understanding, and her acceptance of having to constantly use discretion when we interact with each other. One day it won’t be that way anymore and we can live our lives freely and openly.

More than 11,000 servicemembers have been dismissed under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

"What's the biggest difference between my husband and McCain or Rudy?

Mitt Romney has only had one wife."

-- Ann Romney, to voters skeptical of Romney's Mormon faith, that McCain has had two wives and Rudy has had three wives. Wouldn't it suck to be part of a group that thought this sort of stuff matters?

Tell Fox Noose to stick it Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted that Fox News host John Gibson had accused reporters of “news-guy snobbery” for covering the Iraq war instead of Anna Nicole Smith. Mocking CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Gibson said, “Oh, ‘There’s a war on! There’s a war on!’ Maybe, just maybe, people are a little weary, Mr. Cooper, of your war coverage, and they’d like a little something else.” Today, Gibson responded, claiming he had been the victim of a “purposeful and malicious misinterpretation” by the “great left-wing slime machine called ThinkProgress.org.” But Gibson’s monologue only confirmed what we had reported. He repeated again today that reporters who downplay Anna Nicole coverage in favor of Iraq have a “snobby attitude.” Gibson said today, “People might want a break from the war, to watch the drama in a story like Anna Nicole.” We aren’t opposed to news anchors like Gibson dedicating some coverage to Anna Nicole Smith, but we do believe that referencing her 300 percent more than Iraq — as Fox News did — betrays your obligation to present balanced coverage on the important matters of the day. For his part, Gibson has featured stories on Anna Nicole Smith every single day since her death on Feb. 8 — that’s 19 days straight, a humiliating feat. If you want to respond to Gibson, write him at myword@foxnews.com.

Big Brother hates your freedom Rove: YouTube is a disruption. Speaking today to students at Texas State University as part of the school’s “Communications Week,” Karl Rove referred to YouTube, saying: “That can disrupt anything. Just ask former Sen. George Allen.” Note to Rove: It was Allen’s remarks — not YouTube — that disrupted his campaign.

Army says "no" to torure Army wants Jack Bauer to condemn torture. The Army has invited Kiefer Sutherland, star of the hit TV show 24 and opponent of torture, to come and discuss why it is wrong to torture prisoners. Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently pleaded with the makers of the show to cut down on torture scenes, arguing that they are sending inappropriate messages to the troops condoning torture: “I’d like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires.”

Holy crap "Secondary virginity" is available not only to the carnally impaired but to politicians who may have parked their shoes under the wrong ideological bed…Expecting the Bush administration to defend religious liberty is a little like asking Col. Sanders to babysit your pet chicken…Hearing voices has long thought to be the preserve of a select group of abnormal people…A funny, chilling, serious, even-handed look at G-Dub's religion…Did you know that the battle to abolish of slavery in 18th century Britain is just like the Religious Right's battle to redeem the media and save our culture?…Thus spake D. James Kennedy: "To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler. Hitler tried to speed up evolution, to help it along, and millions suffered and died in unspeakable ways because of it."

Wish I'd said that Thoreau once said that whoever has pronounced a true sentence about a man has sentenced him in a fashion unavailable to a mere judge. By that standard Jane Galt just gave Bill Donohue life without parole: "Mr Donohue is a man who has chosen being offended as a profession."

Setting the record straight Special Comment, Keith took Condi to task for making the following ridiculous and historically inaccurate analogy on FOX News Sunday yesterday: "…It would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown." video_wmv Download (8595) | Play (7374) video_mov Download (3593) | Play (4327) For the sake of posterity, here's the clip of Condi from FNS: video_wmv Download (1942) | Play (1087) video_mov Download (485) | Play (609)

Speaking of money, the U.S. has now spent $369,180,844,000 on Iraq. The equivalent of 17.9 million four-year scholarships at public universities.

You go girl! Debbie Wasserman Schultz makes Chris Shays look like a little man. She tells us that we should have focused on the real enemy instead of a manufactured one…video_wmv Download (2343) | Play (2194) video_mov Download (1054) | Play (1449) I'm glad she's going on some of the talk shows now.

How the Rightwing Noise Machine works Will The Politico offer an explanation? Doubt it.

So we have very good reason to suspect that Gerstein may well be a paid adviser to Lieberman. Incidentally, even if Gerstein is merely a current unpaid adviser to Lieberman, The Politico should have identified him as such when it published his attack on some of Lieberman's key political rivals.

Read the article and if you agree with Greg, email The Politico. I called them for comment, but was transfered to voice mail. Anatomy of a Politico Distortion:

First Politico characterizes the Murtha/Pelosi plan with the inflammatory term "slow bleed." Then the GOP and right wing puppets pick up on it and, boom!, the Democrats' New Official Strategy is "Slow Bleed." Then FOX News (and soon after, CNN and MSNBC) reinforce the myth, always failing to mention that the plan actually protects the troops by ensuring they're properly rested and equipped before entering battle.

 

Two days later, Politico admits they made up the term, but that doesn't matter. Already a Google search for 'Murtha slow bleed strategy' yields 160,000 hits — mostly all distortions of the plan, still attributing the term "slow bleed" to Murtha and Pelosi.

Can we finally kill the Gore Myths? He never claimed to have invented the internet; that was made up by the GOP. He was, however, one of the first senators to support funding for research into internet infrastructure, so in truth, he was politically instrumental in getting the internet to where it is. http://sethf.com/gore/ He never claimed to have discovered the love canal toxic waste site; That was a lie from the NY Times and the Washington Post. http://www.bushwatch.com/goremarch.htm As for Love Story, the writer conceded that Gore was a partial inspiration for the character. http://www.sweatpantserection.com/love-story-movie.html Another site has a gore-lies-debunking page here: http://www.bartcop.com/gorelies.htm

For our conspiracy theorists Bush buys land on Paraquay wonkette.com Excerpt:

* The Cuban news service reports that George W. Bush has purchased 98,840 acres in Paraguay.

* Jenna Bush paid a secret diplomatic visit to the Paraguayan President. There were no press conferences, no public sightings and no official confirmation of her 10-day trip which apparently ended this week.

* The Paraguayan Senate voted last summer to “grant U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction.”

* Immediately afterward, 500 heavily armed U.S. troops arrived with various planes, choppers and land vehicles at Mariscal Estigarribia air base, which happens to be at the northern tip of Paraguay near the Bolivian/Brazilian border. More have reportedly arrived since then.

"I just don't spend that much time on (Osama).

I truly am not that concerned about him."

- - George the Lesser, March 13, 2002 Link

"I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama. (Smirks)

It's kind of one of those ...exaggerations."

- - George the Lesser, debate with Kerry, 2004 Link

We are in an evil Wonderland As you've probably seen, there's been a flurry of articles over the last week about Vice President Cheney, possible plans for war against Iran and murmurs from within the upper echelons of the US armed forces of possible resignations if the White House opts for that new adventure. But beyond all the scary predications and wild tales, Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan have picked out the real nugget: Cheney and the rest of the crew at the White House can't even seem to get clear on what side they're on or even what war it is they're fighting.

That takes strategic incoherence into truly uncharted territory.

Here are the details.

In the Hersh piece in The New Yorker we learn that the US has essentially decided to get out of the al Qaeda/Sunni-jihadist fighting business and redirect our efforts toward fighting the Iranian peril. The real war we're in the midst of now, it turns out, is the trans-Middle Eastern Sunni-Shi'a civil war. And we're going to side with the Saudis, who will in turn enlist a bunch of al Qaeda type groups to work on our behalf against Iran.

Now, you may be worried that this sounds rather like how we got into this mess in the first place. But don't worry. As Hersh writes, the Saudis are assuring the White House, that "they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was 'We've created this movement, and we can control it.'"

OK, for the sake of argument, let's say we're convinced. Back to teaming up with the Sunni jihadists it is ...

But wait ... Only a short time ago we were told that Cheney and his crew at the White House wanted to take the side of the Shi'as in Iraq's burgeoning civil war. In other words, for all the attention to who we're going to attack and how and how many soldiers we need to do it, there appears to be a basic debate (to be generous) or confusion (to be less generous) within the administration over which side we're even on.

We talk a lot about the 'surge' and that's important since it assumes a intensive military commitment in Iraq for years into the future. We worry about tactics and strategy and whether the White House is going to plunge us into another war as a way to wriggle out of the blame for the current one. But this is a level of folly that transcends all of that: at the most basic level, the folks running the show can't even decide who's side we're on. There's no real strategy here or grand aim or even stable aim -- more like a rather panicked set of improvisations aimed at finding a way to retrospectively justify the mistakes that got us here in the first place.

Submitted by RKing on