Action alert
on the next war Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. We need to let our representatives know that
Bush cannot
attack Iran
. GW will not go away quietly as his disastrous term comes to an
end. I think most of us believe Iran is the next target on Bush and Cheney’s
to-do list. Kristol, the equally insane Ledeen (read
this madness
) and all his Neocon, warmongering pals are pushing the White
House at every moment to make the attack happen. Adam Doster has some new
information on
plans to attack
. Here’s the Timesonline
. Glenn Greenwald writes about the bomb Iran happy Washington Post’s
attacks on Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Hiatt labels “the Rogue Regulator.”
Go read Arthur

Now the president is asking Congress for another $50 billion for the War in
Iraq, which he will almost certainly be diverting to the attack on Iran….read

The best so far
Countdown’s #1 story on its special 9/11 edition was some of Keith Olbermann’s
best work to date. In this clip, he runs down the astonishing and outrageous
list of Bush administration lackeys who, instead of being demoted or fired for
their failures surrounding the September 11th attacks and the subsequent
invasion and occupation of Iraq, were promoted and awarded medals for those
failures. Keith ends the segment with the two main figures who haunt the memory
of 9/11 — George Bush and Osama bin Laden. video_wmv Download
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(3543) (Read
the rest of this story…)

This is America? Law school dean fired for liberal ‘political views.’ About a
week ago, the new law school at the
University of California at Irvine hired Erwin Chemerinsky, a
well-known constitutional scholar, as the school’s inaugural Dean. But
yesterday, Michael V. Drake, Irvine’s chancellor, fired him, “saying that he had
not been aware of how Chemerinsky’s political views would make him a
target for criticism from conservatives
.” Chemerinsky confirmed
his firing
to the Wall Street Journal today:

The chancellor “said he hadn’t expected that I would be such a target for
conservatives, a lightning rod. It’s clear that significant opposition
developed,” though the chancellor didn’t specify where it was coming from....
“Obviously I’m sad because it’s something I was excit[ed] about. I’m angry
because I don’t believe anyone liberal or conservative should be denied a
position like this because of political views.”

The LA Times notes that April 2005, Chemerinsky “was named one
of ‘the top 20 legal thinkers in America’
by Legal Affairs magazine.”

Nevah let zee peepoh
speak! California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) today “vetoed
that would have allowed Californians to vote on an advisory
measure calling for President Bush to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from

Colbert on Bykofsky
Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky wrote an editorial last
month wrote a column
"To save America, we need another 9/11." He even suggested some
targets for Al Qaeda, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Rushmore, and Chicago's
Wrigley Field. Do not be so humble Mr. Bykofsky. You are clearly enough of a
patriot that your house belongs on that list.

Some of us are pretty dumb
“Six years after the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S., it seems the media still
have some educational work to do. A new CBS/New York Times poll reveals that
even today, 1
in 3 Americans believe
that ‘Saddam Hussein was personally involved
in the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon.’”

The Angry Left Ed Kilgore

Think about it. Since 1998, we've witnessed the first presidential
impeachment since the 1860s, the first presidential election to go into
"overtime" since the 1870s; the first attack on the continental United States
since 1812; the first major preemptive "war of choice" in U.S. history; and the
first televised destruction of an American city. I don't mean to equate any of
these non-9/11 occurances with what we witnessed that day, but it has been an
extraordinary span of time.

If you want to truly understand why Democrats
(especially those whose entire formative political experience has been the last
decade) are so often "angry," remember the behavior of the leadership of the
Republican Party in all of the non-9/11 events I've mentioned. And then remember
what the president and vice president have done to destroy the national unity
and worldwide symphathy this country enjoyed just after 9/11, typically viewing
domestic unity and global approval with ill-disguised contempt.

A Repug speaks the truth
(oops!) On C-Span’s Washington Journal, Rep. Christopher Shays
has a rare Republican moment of non-talking point candor. When asked by a caller
why we are still in Iraq, Shays admits it’s because we just can’t let any other
country control that oil. video_wmv Download
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(1918) Joshua Holland at AlterNet: The Battle for Iraq is About Oil
and Democracy, Not Religion!

A Repug lies (back to
normal) DNI
McConnell: I Lied To The Senate

Earlier this week, in testimony before the Senate Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Director of National Intelligence
Mike McConnell claimed the new expansive FISA legislation passed by Congress
prior to the August recess — the so-called Protect America Act — had helped to
thwart a an
alleged terror plot
in Germany.

A government official later told the New York Times that McConnell was wrong,
and that the intelligence had been collected under the old
FISA law
which required warrants. A chorus of House Democrats immediately
raised concerns about McConnell’s claims.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) demanded
McConnell back up his sworn statement. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) said the Protect
America Act “played no role in
uncovering the recent German terrorist plot.” House Intelligence Committee
chairman Silvestre Reyes urge McConnell “to issue a public
statement immediately
” correcting his remarks.

In a statement released today, McConnell unapologetically acknowledged he
lied to the Senate:

During the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
hearing on September 10, 2007, I discussed the critical importance to our
national security of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the
recent amendments to FISA made by the Protect America Act. The Protect America
Act was urgently needed by our intelligence professionals to close critical gaps
in our capabilities and permit them to more readily follow terrorist threats,
such as the plot uncovered in Germany. However, information contributing
to the recent arrests was not collected under authorities provided by the
Protect America Act.

Read the statement here.
McConnell would be well-advised to officially correct his testimony. Note that
in the statement, McConnell does not apologize, but rather uses it as another
opportunity to call for Congress to authorize the “unnecessary and
” expansion of the administration’s spying power. Here’s exactly
what McConnell said in his Senate testimony:

MCCONNELL: [The new FISA law] was passed, as you well know, and we’re very
pleased with that. And we’re better prepared now to continue our mission;
specifically Germany, significant contributions. It allowed us to see and
understand all the connections with –

LIEBERMAN: The newly adopted law facilitated that during August?

MCCONNELL: Yes, sir, it did. [Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee, 9/10/07]

Need the freedom to lie
When former CIA officer Ray McGovern made the vocal suggestion — during a
technical delay to fix Gen. David Petraeus’ microphone — that the witness be
sworn in, McGovern was forced to leave the hearing room. Concise, effective Sen.
Clinton to President Bush: Stop lying
about Iraq. Obama Speech Advance
“Conventional thinking in Washington lined up for war. The pundits judged
the political winds to be blowing in the direction of the President. Despite –
or perhaps because of how much experience they had in Washington, too many
politicians feared looking weak and failed to ask hard questions. Too many took
the President at his word instead of reading the intelligence for themselves.
Congress gave the President the authority to go to war. Our only opportunity to
stop the war was lost.”

“There is something unreal about the debate that’s
taking place in Washington… The bar for success is so low that it is almost
buried in the sand. The American people have had enough of the shifting spin.
We’ve had enough of extended deadlines for benchmarks that go unmet. We’ve had
enough of mounting costs in Iraq and missed opportunities around the world.
We’ve had enough of a war that should never have been authorized and should
never have been waged.”

"I opposed this war from the beginning. I opposed
the war in 2002. I opposed it in 2003. I opposed it in 2004. I opposed it in
2005. I opposed it in 2006. I introduced a plan in January to remove all of our
combat brigades by next March. And I am here to say that we have to begin to end
this war now.”
The end of the surge
According to the Washington Post, White House aides say that President
Bush will announce on Thursday that he plans to withdraw
30,000 troops from Iraq by the middle of next year:

They said the president plans to emphasize that he is in a position to order
troop cuts only because of the success achieved on the ground in Iraq, and that
he is not being swayed by political opposition. Aides said that he plans to
outline once again what he sees as the dire consequences of failure in Iraq and
that he will make the troop cuts conditional on continued military

Look, Bush is a politician and I don't blame him for putting the best face on
his decisions. Still, this is pretty rich. Everyone on the planet knows
perfectly well that we're not withdrawing these troops next year because we've
achieved some grand success on the ground in Iraq. We haven't, and Bush knows
it. We're withdrawing them because the Army has no
operational choice.

However, while I don't really blame Bush for trying this ploy, I do
blame Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman for letting it stand without
bothering to tell their readers the truth. It's not that hard, guys.

Peak oil watch OPEC
agreed today to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day. But
check out this sentence in the New York Times coverage:

Consuming nations, including the United States, have been urging OPEC
producers to put more oil on the market, warning that the winter months would
see a big jump in consumption that non-OPEC producers would not be able to

Note that this is now apparently conventional wisdom: the only spare oil
production capacity left in the world is in OPEC. The non-OPEC peak isn't five
years off, or ten years off. It's now.

Kathy Griffin’s Emmy Remarks to Be Censored
Remember her
Coulter rant?
video_mov Download
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(4677) QT She had the nerve not
to thank Jesus
and make a joke.

“Kathy Griffin’s offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on
Saturday night,” the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a
statement Monday. In her speech, Griffin said that “a lot of people come up here
and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do
with this award than Jesus.”

She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and
proclaim, “This award is my god now!” The off-color remark was to say, “Suck it,

I happen to like Jesus and His teachings a great deal, but this is
ridiculous. This is America and we have a Constitution—or so I thought. And she
has the same free speech rights that the odious and violent Bill Donohue has. I
haven’t seen him censored. (scroll down to see some of his

Quote of the day James
Inhofe on how the war is going:
"It's a huge success story." Inhofe is
usually my default pick for worst member of the Senate. This seems right up his

Jon Stewart did what the media fails to
do: namely, take General Petraeus’ long
record of rosey predictions
into account when judging the accuracy
and objectivity of his report on Iraq. video_wmv Download
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(3368) Bush and the Republicans all hid behind the General’s skirt to buy
themselves more time so they could continue a sustained presence in Iraq until
he leaves office. Meanwhile, CentCom Chief Fallon had this to say about him:

“an ass-kissing little chickensh*t” and added, “I hate
people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus
began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to
ingratiate himself with a superior.

Sen. Webb will be asking Carl Levin to call Fallon in to testify. Smells like
to me.

World's worst person video_wmv Download
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(1109) video_mov Download
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(624) On Tuesday night’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann’s special 9/11 Worst Person
In The World segment, the runners up were Director of National Intelligence Mike
McConnell for his FISA fibs and FOXNews’ Brit Hume for allowing both General
Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker to
spew their surge propaganda without challenge
. But the Worst Person honors
went to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) for proclaiming Congress needs to rekindle
the unity they shared in the days after 9/11 and to stop the political partisan
bickering — and then chose to spend the
anniversary of the tragedy
at a Freedom
hosted by FOXNews’ biggest hack, Sean Hannity — featuring some of
the biggest partisan haters in American history, including Ann Coulter, Newt
Gingrich and Ollie North.

An Offer He Couldn't
Refuse? Remember that unrehearsed flash of
where Gen. Petraeus said he didn't know whether being in Iraq was
making America safer? And then later he 'set the record
'? Joe Klein told Chris Matthews that he thought that during the
recess in testimony Petraeus got an angry call from the White House telling him
to set the record straight. Take a look ...
It sounds like this was an inference on Klein's part. But it sounds like a sound

Wingers in the woodwork So
what's my take on the Media Matters report
showing that conservative syndicated columnists outnumber liberal syndicated
columnists on newspaper op-ed pages? I know you're wondering. First, I suspect
it demonstrates that syndicated op-ed columns are mostly run in smallish
newspapers, and smallish newspapers tend to serve conservative communities.
Second, it demonstrates the astonishing hegemony of George Will over our op-ed
pages. Who knew rural America was so in love with bow ties and faux

The Cost of War House
Minority Leader John Boehner: War in Iraq is a "small
" for the U.S. to pay. Ahem

Pants Down Ex-prostitute
the beans
on Sen. Vitter (R) in press conference outside senator's DC
office. In case you're keeping track, this was a NOLA based hooker, not the
one the DC madam hooked him up with.

Sinking stone Rudy
Guiliani has seen some of his poll numbers drop precipitously
over the course of 2007.

The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein has written a must-read book,
Shock Doctrine
, and teamed with Children of Man’s
director Alfonso Cuarón to make a film on the state of shock
that has subjected us to accept disaster capitalism.


This film and book discuss the CIA’s experimentation with using electric
shock to break people down. Yet, the more important point of these works is that
a broader “shock” to the systems of a people as a whole, like say 9/11, can have
the kind of impact the CIA was searching for in their tests, one that breaks
down a whole society and makes them so fearful they are open to nefarious

I am sure none of this sound familiar, does it? This is very powerful stuff
that can explain how a traumatized society may act, and may just explain to you
why a certain former Mayor of New York
mentions 9/11 4.75 times per sentence. Read

The Times Goes Man-on-the-Street in Iraq
on the Petraeus Report From the Times

A city employee in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province, vividly
described his ambivalence.

“The withdrawal of the occupation forces is a must because they have caused
the destruction of Iraq, they committed massacres against the innocents, they
have double-crossed the Iraqis with dreams,” said the worker, Ahmad Umar al
Esawi, a Sunni. “I want them to withdraw all their troops in one day.”

Dropping his voice, he continued: “There is something that I want to say
although I hate to say it. The American forces, which are an ugly occupation
force, have become something important to us, the Sunnis. We are a minority and
we do not have a force to face the militias. If the Americans leave, it will
mean a total elimination of the Sunnis in Iraq.”

Mr. Esawi added, “I know I said I want them to leave, but if we think about
it, then I have to say I want them to stay for a while until we end all the
suspicions we have of each other and have a strong national government.”

Check out the rest of the article.
It's worth your time to read.

Submitted by RKing on