This is amazing.  TPMTV
has the scoop on Dick Cheney's lies.   "One thing we learned last night is that
not only is Dick Cheney a big liar, he's also probably lousy at poker. Because
the guy has a classic tell. If you watch when he lies to Larry King, he can't
make eye contact. Once you know what to look for it's really jarring and
obvious.  In today's episode of TPMtv, we give you all the key highlights of
last night's fibfest on Larry King Live (special bonus no-eye-contact moment
comes toward the end) ..."   Putting U.S. Troop Casualty Statistics In
   At least 73 U.S. troops are reported to
have died in Iraq this past month. The numbers are a decline from the all-time
highs of 108, 131, and 117 from the previous three months.  Media reports herald
the statistics as encouraging
and as demonstrating “steady
” in Iraq. Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno said that the lower death
toll was a “positive
.”  According to, at least 3,653 U.S. troops have died
in the 53 months that the war has been going on — a per monthly rate of nearly
69 U.S. troop casualties. Thus, the current month’s total still exceeds the
average monthly casualty rate of the entire war.  Moreover, 73 is also greater
than the average monthly casualty rate of each of the first four years of the
war. A look at the monthly U.S. casualty rates over each of these years:



RATE 2003 48.6 per
month 2004 70.8 per month 2005 70.5 per month 2006 68.5 per month 2007 92.9 per month

Statistics compiled from  The AP notes that
“the daily average for U.S. troop deaths in July was at least 2.35 — higher than
the daily average of 2.25 last year, and remarkably
with average daily casualties in 2005, at 2.32, and 2004, at
2.33.”  While U.S. troop casualties have fallen, reports indicate Iraqi deaths
are rising
in Baghdad to pre-surge levels.

Rotten to their very
Just out from the Post

The night before the government secured a guilty plea from the
manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, a senior Justice Department
official called the U.S. attorney handling the case and, at the behest of an
executive for the drugmaker, urged him to slow down, the prosecutor told the
Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

John L. Brownlee, the U.S. attorney in Roanoke, testified that he was at home
the evening of Oct. 24 when he received the call on his cellphone from Michael
J. Elston, then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general and one of the
Justice aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year.

Brownlee settled the case anyway. Eight days later, his name appeared on a
list compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials had suggested be

The Bush administration's governing philosophy is apparently
the result of too many viewings of The Godfather.
  Brownlee dodged
the bullet and is still a U.S. Attorney. But I'm sure he and his colleagues got
the message.  And -- it's been awhile since I've said this -- imagine the
reaction if this had been the Clinton administration.

Missing  Somewhat ominous. 
Chairman Waxman: 

Much of our focus will be on a ‘Personal For’
message, also known as a ‘P4,’ that Major General Stanley McChrystal sent on
April 29, 2004. This P4 alerted his superiors that despite press reports that
Corporal Tillman died fighting the enemy, it was ‘highly possible that Corporal
Tillman was killed by friendly fire.’ Three officers received this P4 report:
Lt. General Kensinger, General Abizaid, and General Brown… The Committee did
issue a subpoena to General Kensinger earlier this week, but U.S. Marshals have
been unable to locate or serve him.

Obama giving big counterterrorism speech today in
Washington. That and other political news of the day in today's Election
Central Morning Roundup
. The full speech and some analysis of it is right

Today's must read: Parsing
the director of national intelligence's "weasel words" on
Alberto Gonzales' testimony.

It's our turn, it's our
  Lambert wants to ask the Democratic candidates, "What
is the Democrats' plan to restore Constitutional Government?
"  Hmmmm. Maybe
we should ask our reps, too. House  Senate  I'm
not saying we should bash the Dems. I'm saying it's a real issue and no one else
is going to ask them, so we have to. 

Health care is an issue, and we
should ask them about it. The war is an issue, and we ask them about it. And
restoring Constitutional government is an issue we should ask them about. It's a
question about one of the important issues of the day, and they should be able
to answer it. The Democrats are under tremendous pressure from the right-wing
spinnners on The Hill and their media handmaidens to ignore these important
issues. They're going to ask them about haircuts and cleavage.  So, when we have
a chance to get them to talk about important questions, we'd damn well better
take it. We have to push back. That's what democracy is all about: We
have to tell them what we want - and when they are running for office, we
have to ask them how they plan to give us what we want. They're only human, you
know -- if all they hear in the public sphere is right-wing smoke, they
will think they'd have to be crazy to go against it.

Neocon media steals from blog
 The Murkowski Alaska land deal story just appeared
in Wednesday's Times as though by Virgin Birth. They don't seem to
realize that TPMmuckraker broke this story
about two weeks ago.  What's weird is that the Times reporters were
apparently listening to the same Anchorage talk radio station interview Laura
McGann was listening to in which Murkowski's husband, Verne Martell, admitted
that Lisa Murkowski thought the deal might "come back to bite us."

Ms. Murkowski, who was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by her
father, Frank Murkowski, a former senator who was then governor, was apparently
aware that the land deal might draw unwelcome scrutiny. Her husband, Verne
Martell, said two weeks ago in a radio interview in Alaska that “when we signed
the loan, Lisa signed on it and said, ‘This might come back to bite us.’

That's uncanny because that's the passage of the interview Laura transcribed in this
July 23rd post.  To the folks at the Grey Lady, all we can say is, We're Glad We
Could Be of Assistance.

As much as I hate to, I
Sullivan vents:
publishing industry is one of the shallowest, dumbest and most archaic in the
U.S. No one edits anything. The publishers do not care what is in their books
and neither, by and large, do editors."

How's that surge thing
  Someone tell Little Mikey O'Hanlon, age 6, and Little
Kenny Pollack, age 9.
  "BAGHDAD (AFP) - The number of Iraqi civilians killed
in the country's brutal civil conflict rose by more than a third in July despite
a five-month-old surge in US troop levels, government figures showed Wednesday.
At least 1,652 civilians were killed in Iraq in July, 33 percent more than in
the previous month, according to figures compiled by the Iraqi health, defence
and interior ministries and made available to AFP."  AFP is lying, however. The
surge didn't start for real until June or July, even though a Wank of Kagans
told me it was working in March. So, during the start of the "real" surge,
violence went up.

Surge evaluation, Part
   Ware: Surge Is Undermining ‘The Very Government That America
   Last night, during his
with Larry King, Vice President Cheney claimed that “the reports
I’m hearing, from people whose views I respect, indicate that the Petraeus plan
is in fact producing results.”  On Anderson Cooper’s show later in the evening,
CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware, who spoke live on a night scope camera
while embedded with troops responded to “the vice president’s evaluation” of
progress in Iraq, calling it “sleight of hand.” “Yeah, sectarian violence is
down, but let’s have a look at that,” said Ware. “More than two million people
have fled this country. 50,000 are still fleeing every month, according to the
United Nations. So there’s less people to be killed. And those who stay,
increasingly are in ethnically-cleansed neighborhoods. They’ve been

“There is still no sense of unity. And without America to act as the big baby
sitter, this thing is not going to last.”  

Ware also responded to Brookings Institution analysts Michael O’Hanlon and
Kenneth Pollack’s recent New York Times op-ed offering a sunny appraisal of
progress in Iraq, calling the report “very one dimensional.” “It doesn’t look at
what’s been done to achieve this and what long term sustainability there is,”
said Ware. “I mean, these guys unfortunately were only in the country for eight

To achieve the small victories that O’Hanlon and Pollack cherry-picked for
their column, America is actually undermining the Iraqi government, according to
Ware. “What America needs to come clean about is that it’s achieving these
successes by cutting deals, primarily, with its enemies,” he said.

“By achieving these successes, America is building Sunni militias,” said
Ware. “Yes, they’re targeting al Qaeda, but these are also anti-government
forces opposed to the very government that America created.”

The gang that can't
"Cheney on Trip to Ashcroft's Hospital Bedside: 'I Don't Recall.'"
They better rethink their position on stem-cell research, chances are they're
going to need it! George Bush, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, and the rest of
this administration to include Congressional Repuglicans, seem to have a real
problem with "memory"! This could be indicative of early Alzheimer's and may
require medical treatment in the future!!

Mitt Romney Sez Hezbollah Style Diplomacy
Would Be Good For America
  No, really…he did. Last weekend
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a town hall meeting in
Ottumwa, Iowa. One of the members of the audience asked him if he would commit
the money necessary to continue President Bush’s AIDS program in Africa as a way
to restore good will toward America. His answer, while not picked up on by the
members of the audience, absolutely floored me. He started out by agreeing with
the premise of the question, touting America’s health care system — then he
dropped this little nugget: video_wmv Download
(6) | Play
(5) video_mov Download
(9) | Play
(2) (thanks to Scarce for the video)

Romney: …”Did you notice in Lebanon, what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a
democracy some time ago and while their government was getting underway,
Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the
people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having
done so. That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become
stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an
interest towards modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world.
And so, I want to see America carry out that kind of health

Somebody needs to get his talking points in order before they let him speak
in public. What Hezbollah did was essentially provide UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE for
the people of southern Lebanon, something Romney has vigorously opposed for you
and I here in America. I hate to tell you this Mitt, but I don’t think the rest of
with your
review of Hezbollah

I guess he figures lying
First, Rudy Giuliani lied about his record on
. Then, Rudy lied again about Democrats’
tax plans
. And now he’s relying on the same Bush tax
for his recycled health care plan.

Iraq is costing the U.S. dearly in blood
and treasure.
The blood costs are tragic, and the treasure is exorbitant.

The war in Iraq could ultimately cost well over a trillion
— at least double what has already been spent — including the
long-term costs of replacing damaged equipment, caring for wounded troops, and
aiding the Iraqi government, according to a new government analysis.  The United
States has already allocated more than $500 billion on the day-to-day combat
operations of what are now 190,000 troops and a variety of reconstruction
efforts.  In a report to lawmakers yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office estimated that even under the rosiest scenario — an immediate and
substantial reduction of troops — American taxpayers will feel the financial
consequences of the war for at least a decade.

Remember in 2002, when administration officials boasted about how this war
could be fought on the cheap, and how Iraq would quickly finance

Entertainment   Jon
Stewart:  The Senate Judiciary Committee’s subpoena of Karl Rove makes Senator
Leahy’s balls grow three sizes. And Asif Mandvi reports that at this rate, the
country may be out of contempt (as opposed to in contempt) sometime
next year. video_wmv Download
(4750) | Play
(5102) video_mov Download
(1754) | Play
(3293) For some hilarious campaign coverage, check out Comedy Central’s Indecision 08 page.

More on the Tillman case 

The Army on Tuesday censured a retired three-star general for a “perfect
storm of mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership” after the 2004
friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of Army Ranger Pat Tillman.

Army Secretary Pete Geren asked an Army review panel to decide whether Lt.
Gen. Philip Kensinger should also have his rank reduced.

Geren told a Pentagon news conference that, while Kensinger was “guilty of
deception” in misleading investigators, there was no intentional Pentagon
cover-up of circumstances surrounding the former pro football player’s death -
at first categorized by the military as being from enemy fire.

“He failed to provide proper leadership to the soldiers under his
administrative control. … He let his soldiers down,” Geren said. “General
Kensinger was the captain of that ship, and his ship ran aground.”

At least six other officers received lesser reprimands.

Geren said he considered recommending a court-martial for Kensinger but ruled
it out.

What an insult to the Tillmans. What an insult to the intelligence of all of
us. NO evidence of a cover-up? Please.  Jane at
recounts another failure of memory/failure to appear in the Tillman
case, although it appears he’s had a change
of heart
VoteVets has an open
letter to Bush and a petition you can sign.

A ‘bad’ day for ‘American
  “It’s a bad thing for the Journal and
American journalism that the Bancroft family could not resist Rupert Murdoch’s
generous offer,” said former Dow Jones director Jim Ottaway Jr., who opposed
Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of Dow Jones. Another board member, Leslie Hill, “quit the board in protest last

Neocon media can't get enough of Hillary's
   MSNBC cleaves to
Clinton neckline coverage controversy
 From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on July
30, MSNBC devoted a total of 23 minutes and 42 seconds to segments discussing
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) "cleavage." MSNBC broadcast separate
segments on this topic during the hours of 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2
p.m., and 3 p.m. ET, skipping only the noon and 4 p.m. hours. During the same
period, CNN devoted 3 minutes and 54 seconds to coverage of Clinton's cleavage,
while Fox News devoted none. Read More

Submitted by RKing on