Filtered news 5/16

As always: no claim to original reporting; just stuff I've gleaned from the "net."

WASHINGTON, DC—In an East Room press conference Tuesday, President Bush told reporters that he had the "sneaking feeling" that 68 percent of the U.S. population hated his guts that day.

"Maybe it's just me, but when I woke up this morning, it really seemed like 60 percent of men and 77 percent of women didn't want to have anything to do with me," Bush said.

Though Bush admitted he found it "disquieting" that more than two-thirds of the country thinks he is not the right man to lead the nation, he assured the public that he "won't let it affect the way [he does his] job in any way."

---

Dimbulb neocon media MSNBC cites White House praise of deceased Rev. Falwell. Only it's from , well-known anti-Bush White House spoof site. D'oh ...

: Behold, citizens of the United States -- the Bush administration's commitment to oversight and the protection of your civil liberties in all its glory.

Whenever the Bushies find themselves embroiled in scandal — , , , etc. — they always resort to the "we-can't-talk-about-ongoing-investigations" defense. Sadly, it works; the media falls for it–hook, line and sinker–every time. Jon Stewart and Rob Riggle finally call them out on it. | | "So the only time this administration will discuss an issue is after an investigation they have not cooperated in is finished?" Are you listening, ? This is how it's done.

Everybody's talking this morning about former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's testimony yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he before the arrival of then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. The Department of Justice, in the person of then-acting AG Comey, was refusing to sign off on the White House's warrantless wiretapping program. And Gonzales and Andy Card wanted to see if they could get to the semi-conscious Ashcroft to overrule him.

Don't forget my new project (web site updated)

Important questions unasked (thanks neocon media)

Does this sound in any way like the behavior of a government operating under the rule of law, which believes that it had legal authority to spy on Americans without the warrants required for three decades by law? How can we possibly permit our government to engage in this behavior, to spy on us in deliberate violation of the laws which we enacted democratically precisely in order to limit how they can spy on us, and to literally commit felonies at will, knowing that they are breaking the law?

How is this not a major scandal on the level of the greatest presidential corruption and lawbreaking scandals in our country's history? Why is this only a one-day story that will focus on the hospital drama but not on what it reveals about the bulging and unparalleled corruption of this administration and the complete erosion of the rule of law in our country? And, as I've asked times before, if we passively allow the president to simply break the law with impunity in how the government spies on our conversations, what don't we allow?

If we had a functioning political press, these are the questions that would be dominating our political discourse and which would have been resolved long ago.

I don't understand it myself.

Learnin' your GayBC's. The grandparents of a 12 year-old student sued the Chicago Board of Education after a substitute teacher . The reason: exposing children to Randy Quaid at such an early age can traumatize 'em for life.

Another edition of The One Word Answer man. John at Americablog, having noticed the rosy-red predictions of future economic growth by Team Bush, : "Are there any plans to introduce reality on any subject to the administration in the near future or will they just keep pumping out nonsense like this to run out the clock?"

Clock.

"They have to be responsible for the consequences of the policy recommendations they make.
If, in fact, they advocate complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, then they are,
to some extent, accountable for what would happen when that policy is followed..."
-- Cheney, accepting responsibility for the bloody mess that's killed 3,400 soldiers???

Shortest lawsuit in the history of the world. An anti-Semite is suing Media Matters for . Case dismissed.

It was six months ago today that General

Pressed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on how much time the U.S. and Iraqi government have to reduce the violence in Baghdad before it spirals beyond control, Abizaid said, "Four to six months."

28 Percenters "These people don't care if he's wearing a teddy under his suit and sleeping with the family schnauzer as long as he promises to spill as much blood as possible." That's about right.

Our future? In writing about yesterday's testimony from former "Justice" Department official James Comey,

Even The Washington Post Editorial Board -- long tepid, at best, concerning the NSA scandal -- recognizes that Comey has offered "an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source." And as I documented yesterday, these "shocking" revelations were long concealed due to Alberto Gonzales' patently false assurances that the testimony of Comey and Ashcroft -- which Democrats on the Senate Judiicary Committee sought last year -- would not "add to the discussion."

What more glaring and clear evidence do we need that the President of the United States deliberately committed felonies, knowing that his conduct lacked any legal authority? And what justifies simply walking away from these serial acts of deliberate criminality?

Answer: Nothing. And yet, look at our "table." Also of note yesterday: the deadline for compliance with the Senate Judiciary Committee's subpoena of Karl Rove's e-mails regarding the U.S. Attorneys scandal has Did you catch the headlines? The outraged response from the Committee? The charges of contempt of Congress? Me neither. Forget the past, they say. Look to the future. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I fear you are looking at your future.

W=GDP/N Ezra also discusses the My problem with economists is that even many of the smart ones tend to instinctively equate the social welfare of a country with its per capita GDP. This is absurd, and it isn't as if they don't actually know this, but nonetheless it tends to be how people operate.

This happens because of two basic reasons. First, there's no actual way to define social welfare scientifically. One can define social welfare functions which meet certain kinds of pleasing properties, but ultimately judgment calls have to be made. You know, is overall social welfare enhanced more if you give an extra dollar to me instead of Bill Gates? Consequently per capita GDP as a measure of society's welfare is seen as a kind of value-neutral measure. But it isn't, or at least policies which lead to more or less growth aren't value neutral as those policies don't necessarily just impact growth and subsequent per capita GDP, they also impact income distribution. So if you advocate for a policy such as "Free Trade," which will increase GDP by $100 but cause Bill Gates to earn $150 more (all of the gains and more), you're implicitly saying that either income distribution is irrelevant or that it's "good" from the perspective of society if Bill Gates gets more and the rest of us get less. Since one needs to make value judgments to evaluate income distribution effects of policy, there's a tendency to just assume they aren't important.

The second is that early on it becomes hardwired in our young economist brains that it makes sense that if the pie is bigger there are more slices to pass around. You can have gains from a policy such as "free trade" and then redistribute the goodies later. But the redistribution doesn't happen.

All this leaves aside other issues, such as the fact that people, especially French people, don't just like goodies but also this mysterious thing called "leisure" which doesn't get counted in that GDP figure...

God invented economists so astrologers wouldn't look so bad. They've predicted 9 of our last 5 recoveries....

Start packing The White House is now saying that "" with respect to Paul Wolfowitz's future as president of the World Bank. Rich with irony and just not a good sign for Paul considering that's the phrase this White House usually reserves for rogue states just before they get whacked.

The cost of bubblin' crude. Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea. And "thuh experts" say there won’t be any relief :

Retail prices will go even higher heading into the summer vacation season because not all of the recent rise in wholesale fuel costs has been reflected in what consumers pay at the pump, said EIA head Guy Caruso. "There is still some wholesale price run-up that has not been passed through," Caruso told reporters at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on summer gasoline prices. He declined to speculate how much higher fuel costs will go.

The CEO of Exxon-Mobil was so alarmed by the news that he nearly missed a putt.

Timmeh was on "The Daily Show" last night and got grilled by Jon Stewart about how Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales and the rest of the liars can get away with their blatant lies and the coziness of the Washington press corps. [media=1] | Too bad Jon didn't ask him about .

The Wingnut Brain

So I'm glad to see Tom Friedman suggest that his audience read Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City "details [as to] the extent to which Americans recruited to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad were chosen, at times, for their loyalty toward Republicanism rather than expertise on Islamism." Two CPA staffers, for instance, were asked whether they supported Roe v. Wade, assumedly because Iraqis are really concerned over whether the American Constitution includes an implicit right to privacy.

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion.

Match games. eHarmony.com loves to pair you up with just the right person but, apparently, only if you're straight. That prompted Chemistry.com to produce some ads that flick rhetorical boogers . Their tag line: "Come as you are." I usually don’t leave the house in my Wonder Woman suit but...whatever.

Quiet evenings at home. In Dearborn, Michigan, a cop who admitted taking marijuana from suspects and using it to make hash brownies for he and the missus has quit the force. Today's must-watch is Exhibit A in his downfall: the stoned cop calls 911 and hilarity ensues.... Oh, and just in case he's reading this: Wings won.

Iraq's missing oil and Halliburton's Houston send-off A draft report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office Between shows between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling. The news comes as the Iraqi parliament is preparing to vote on a new law that would open up Iraq's oil reserves to multinational oil companies. CorpWatch director Pratap Chatterjee, has closely monitored the Iraqi oil industry. He speaks to us from Houston -- where Halliburton is preparing to hold its last annual shareholders meeting
in Texas before moving headquarters to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Listen/Watch/Read

"Bush has made us weaker. Why don't the Democrats just say the word "weak" over and over? "Bush lost the war. He made us weaker." Because he did. The National Intelligence estimate that came out last year said, undeniably, all our intelligence agencies agree, the war in Iraq has created more terrorists." -- Bill Maher

Who is the real leader here? John Edwards to vote for Feingold amendment to defund war. Both say yes. Hillary to Feingold amendment. Obama to Feingold amendment cutting off funding for war.

In a sane media universe The testimony going on right now would have some prominence. Short version is (I think) that Gonzo and Card tried to pressure Ashcroft and Comey while the former was severely ill and in the hospital to approve what is presumably their illegal wiretapping program. They balked, and the White House decided they could tap a I'm reminded of "People like me who favor this program don't yet know enough about it yet," he says, "Those opposed to it know even less -- and certainly less than I do. Those of us opposed to it know it's... illegal.

Running the World Bank like Tony Soprano. It might even be a show I'd like to watch. The Guardian reports that as the details of Paul Wolfowitz's deal to give a hefty pay package to girlfriend, Shaha Riza, were threatening to be revealed, Wolfowitz senior World Bank staffers that they'd pay if the deal was revealed publicly. "If they f-ck with me or Shaha," raged Wolfowitz, according to the internal report on Wolfowitz's conduct, "I have enough on them to f-ck them too." Find more fun nuggets. The report is available .

Necon media One of CBS' own high-profile news consultants retired General John Batiste put back on the air.

You gotta admire his audacity. Marty Peretz, in his comically meshugina obsession with that "young cog in the Hitlerite wheel" and "ruthless Jewish banker" (!) George Soros, apparently thinks it right and proper for him to pass judgment on the latter's love life, , even though it is an entirely private matter between two consenting adults. Nice glass house you have there, bub. Be a shame to see anything happen to it.

Raping the poor, because they can Excerpt: Inside U.S. companies' audacious drive to extract more profits from the nation's working poor... In recent years, a range of businesses have made financing more readily available to even the riskiest of borrowers. Greater access to credit has put cars, computers, credit cards, and even homes within reach for many more of the working poor. But this remaking of the marketplace for low-income consumers has a dark side: Innovative and zealous firms have lured unsophisticated shoppers by the hundreds of thousands into a thicket of debt from which many never emerge.

Is Bush's America a police state? Every time I return to the Jose Padilla case, I employ the deliberately provocative term "police state" because I think it's accurate. Padilla, after all, is an American citizen. If he can be picked up off the street, held incommunicado without charge, indefinitely, than so can any of us. And if this can happen to any of us, then we do, indeed, live in a police state with no rights whatsoever. I mean, what good are rights if a citizen can be jailed without charge, indefinitely? So I see buried in today's Times, , that Padilla is finally getting his trial, after many efforts by the Bush administration to avoid one. (The government transferred him to civilian custody in Miami in 2005, just as the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the legality of his military detention.) So is America a police state? Judging by the Padilla case, the Bush administration has tried to turn it into one but has yet to succeed fully. You can apparently only hold an American citizen for five years without trial. That's not a police state, I suppose, but it sure as hell isn't a free country either.

Keep fishing boys DOJ officials propose new reason for firing Nevada US Atttorney Daniel Bogden: lax vote fraud enforcement. Only any allegations of vote fraud in the state for years.

Neocon media New York Times sticks with despite multiple polls showing the phrase to be out of touch with current realities.

Health care in America The Commonwealth Fund has released its latest comparison of healthcare performance among various countries, and you can However, since I know you're all busy people, I'll just cut to the chase: we suck. Despite the fact that we see doctors less often, go to the hospital less often, and stay in the hospital for shorter times than any of the other countries in the report, we still spend by far the most money. In return for this we get lousier care. As the summary chart below shows, we score last or close to last on five out of five measures — though we do manage to eke out a first place finish in one subcategory. Go team!

If you want a quick and dirty look at the data, and page through the charts. My favorites are 21, 28, 50, and 56. There are a few areas where the United States does well (preventive care, for example), but for the most part we're either average or below average. And when it comes to various sorts of preventible medical errors, we're absolutely terrible. It almost makes you want to just stay home the next time you feel a pain in your chest.

Neocon media silent on Mitt's gaffe What was up with Mitt Romney promising to "double" Gitmo -- I mean, what does that even mean? I think it's weird that this kind of moment where a candidate for the presidency reveals that he has no clue as to what he's talking about with regard to a high-profile, controversial national security issue doesn't count as a "gaffe." Maybe if he'd sighed too much or something. Commenter Bloix explains things to "I thought he was clear. He does not believe in trial by jury, or the presumption of innocence, or the right to counsel, or an independent judiciary, or the right to liberty. He believes that the government should be disappear people from their homes and send them to prison camps where brutal guards will beat them up at their leisure. He thinks we need more Gitmos and bigger Gitmos. He wants to recreate the gulag. You saw how excited the audience was. They understood it. Why don't you?"

Problem solved! (not) Well, now that we , I bet all our country's national security problems are solved. Just kidding. The real problem here is that if we had a functional interagency process at the NSC, this would be unnecessary. Meanwhile, the sort of leadership qualities on the part of the president and the other key players that could, in theory, make the "czar" concept work just happen to be the exact same ones that could make the NSC process work properly. In short, this is either futile or unnecessary, and I'd bet heavily on futile.

Can banks really get away with facilitating fraud? We're about to find out.

Neocon media As Media Matters for America , the media recently devoted extensive coverage to a report -- first "broken" by Politico senior political writer Ben Smith on -- that Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards' (NC) campaign spent $800 on two haircuts. The story was covered by major print, broadcast, and cable outlets, and often featured of Edwards as "pretty" and the "Breck girl" -- echoing Republican and conservative attacks on Edwards dating back to 2004. These same media outlets, however, have shown almost no interest in recent reports that the presidential campaign of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) scheduled -- and then abruptly canceled -- a campaign rally at the home of two Iowa farmers because they were not wealthy enough to be affected by the estate tax.

Rumors of a Newt Gingrich candidacy continue to circulate. I bet Democratic operatives go to bed every night saying a brief prayer that the Lord will, in His infinite wisdom, cause the GOP faithful to continue being discontented with the current crop of baby killers, Mormons, and McCain-who-they-don't-like-for-unclear-reasons and turn to the Newt in their hour of despair. Jonathan Singer that Gingrich "is for someone who has been out of office for nearly a decade."

It's worth driving this home. In Augu st 2000 when Dick Gephardt was the Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives, 54 percent of voters told a CNN/Time poll they weren't familiar with him. By contrast, in CNN's November 2006 poll -- when Gingrich had held no political office for about eight years -- only 13 percent had never heard of him, and an additional 16 percent said they were unsure of how they felt about him. A larger number, 28 percent, took a favorable view of him. And a staggering 44 percent had an unfavorable view. An April 2007 CBS poll gave Gingrich a 16/43 favorable/unfavorable split. In March 2007 he got 29/48. A December 2006 NBC poll that took the unusual step of offering a "neutral" option produced a more favorable 26/35 split with 23 percent professing neutrality.

As the best you can do, that's a terrible place to be starting a presidential campaign. And, of course, in 1996 the Democrats ran a very successful campaign whose main negative attack was that Bob Dole resembled Newt Gingrich in his political views, a case that's very easy to make when the candidate in question is, in fact, Newt Gingrich.

Jerry Falwell I never wished him dead, but I have to admit that I cannot feel sad about his death. It's ill-mannered to speak ill of the recently deceased, so I won't mention that he was a right-wing extremist who gained enormous power by bamboozling his ignorant followers, or that he twisted the words of the Bible to suit his political aims, or that he preached hate in direct opposition to the way Jesus preached love, or that he blamed 9/11 on the feminists and the gays, or that he did more than anyone else I know to make Christianity appear to be a religion for stupid, uneducated, superstitious, hate-filled bigots. Instead, I'll let Falwell’s professional life and let his record speak for itself.

March 1980: Falwell tells an Anchorage rally about a conversation with President Carter at the White House. Commenting on a January breakfast meeting, Falwell claimed to have asked Carter why he had “practicing homosexuals” on the senior staff at the White House. According to Falwell, Carter replied, “Well, I am president of all the American people, and I believe I should represent everyone.” When others who attended the White House event insisted that the exchange never happened, Falwell responded that his account “was not intended to be a verbatim report,” but rather an “honest portrayal” of Carter’s position.

August 1980: After Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith tells a Dallas Religious Right gathering that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew,” Falwell gives a similar view. “I do not believe,” he told reporters, “that God answers the prayer of any unredeemed Gentile or Jew.” After a meeting with an American Jewish Committee rabbi, he changed course, telling an interviewer on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “God hears the prayers of all persons…. God hears everything.”

July 1984: Falwell is forced to pay gay activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. During a TV debate in Sacramento, Falwell denied calling the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches “brute beasts” and “a vile and Satanic system” that will “one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven.” When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did so, Falwell refused to pay and Sloan successfully sued. Falwell appealed, with his attorney charging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. He lost again and was forced to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees.

October 1987: The Federal Election Commission fines Falwell for transferring $6.7 million in funds intended for his ministry to political committees.

February 1988: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a $200,000 jury award to Falwell for “emotional distress” he suffered because of a Hustler magazine parody. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, usually a Falwell favorite, wrote the unanimous opinion in Hustler v. Falwell, ruling that the First Amendment protects free speech.

February 1993: The Internal Revenue Service determines that funds from Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour program were illegally funneled to a political action committee. The IRS forced Falwell to pay $50,000 and retroactively revoked the Old Time Gospel Hour’s tax-exempt status for 1986-87.

March 1993: Despite his promise to Jewish groups to stop referring to America as a “Christian nation,” Falwell gives a sermon saying, “We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours.”

1994-1995: Falwell is criticized for using his “Old Time Gospel Hour” to hawk a scurrilous video called “The Clinton Chronicles” that makes a number of unsubstantiated charges against President Bill Clinton — among them that he is a drug addict and that he arranged the murders of political enemies in Arkansas. Despite claims he had no ties to the project, evidence surfaced that Falwell helped bankroll the venture with $200,000 paid to a group called Citizens for Honest Government (CHG). CHG’s Pat Matrisciana later admitted that Falwell and he staged an infomercial interview promoting the video in which a silhouetted reporter said his life was in danger for investigating Clinton. (Matrisciana himself posed as the reporter.) “That was Jerry’s idea to do that,” Matrisciana recalled. “He thought that would be dramatic.”

November 1997: Falwell accepts $3.5 million from a front group representing controversial Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon to ease Liberty University’s financial woes.

April 1998: Confronted on national television with a controversial quote from America Can Be Saved!, a published collection of his sermons, Falwell denies having written the book or had anything to do with it. In the 1979 work, Falwell wrote, “I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Despite Falwell’s denial, Sword of the Lord Publishing, which produced the book, confirms that Falwell wrote it.

January 1999: Falwell tells a pastors’ conference in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist prophesied in the Bible is alive today and “of course he’ll be Jewish.”

February 1999: Falwell becomes the object of nationwide ridicule after his National Liberty Journal newspaper issues a “parents alert” warning that Tinky Winky, a character on the popular PBS children’s show “Teletubbies,” might be gay.

September 2001: Falwell blames Americans for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the Pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

November 2005: Falwell spearheads campaign to resist “war on Christmas.”

February 2007: Falwell describes global warming as a conspiracy orchestrated by Satan, liberals, and The Weather Channel.

Falwell on : “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made…. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

“Blow them all away in the name of the Lord.”

Obviously sympathies to those who cared for him. Many undeserving people have good people around them. It's hard to have sympathies for those who for their tragedies. "AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals." "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." One hopes he finds that his God is a more forgiving being than he believed.

More:

What kind of man, let alone what kind of minister of the Gospel, would full of made-up stories about a President of the United States whose policies he happened to oppose being a cocaine trafficker and assassin, and recruit the film's producer to pose as an investigative journalist appearing in sillouette, as Falwell himself interviewed him about why he feared for his own life? ("Be assured, we will be praying for your safety.")

What kind of man, minister of the Gospel, would report that another president whose policies he happened to oppose said things to him that he never, ever said? (" responded that his account 'was not intended to be a verbatim report,' but rather an 'honest portrayal' of Carter's position.")

I can respect a man with the integrity not to hide controversial beliefs, like, "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." But what kind of man, let alone minster of the Gospel, claims to have changed his mind on the most profound questions of theology (reassuring his powerful friends on "God hears the prayers of all persons") simply to save political face?

What kind of man calls fellow Christians "brute beasts" following "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven"? And who then, when a tape is produced of him saying it, to sell it to him - then welches on the deal?

And what kind of man, confronted with a book in which he is quoted exulting, "I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!", - though the book is a collection of his own sermons?

What kind of man? The kind of man conservative leaders everywhere fall over themselves, of course, to praise.

Neocon media On the May 13 "Meet the Candidates" of NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert asked Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (AZ), "In hindsight, was it a good idea to go into Iraq?" but did not challenge McCain's reply that the invasion of Iraq "was certainly justified" because "[e]very intelligence agency in the world, not just U.S., believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." Yet on two separate "Meet the Candidates" editions of Meet the Press, Russert did challenge former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) for their 2002 votes giving President Bush the authority to use military force in Iraq, citing the "caveats" in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concerning the purported existence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. The NIE was to all members of Congress before the vote, according to The Washington Post. Russert did not challenge McCain with either a general question about the contrary evidence in the NIE or a question about the basis for his explicit assertion one day before the war resolution vote that "[t]o wait for Saddam Hussein to threaten imminent attack against America would be to acquiesce to his development of nuclear weapons."

Bush gets together with Dobson -- not a good sign In early 2003, literally just a few weeks before the president would launch a war with Iraq, to discuss the conflict. The president reportedly told the televangelist that he believed there’d be minimal casualties, and soon after, began the invasion.

With this background in mind, I was not at all encouraged to see that Bush is now discussing Iran .

“I was invited to go to Washington DC to meet with President Bush in the White House along with 12 or 13 other leaders of the pro-family movement,” Dobson disclosed on his radio program Monday. “And the topic of the discussion that day was Iraq, Iran and international terrorism. And we were together for 90 minutes and it was very enlightening and in some ways disturbing too.” […]

“The world looked at Hitler and just didn’t believe him and tried to appease him the way we’re hearing in Washington today,” Dobson remarked. “You know, the President seems to me does understand this, as I told you from that meeting I had with him the other day, but even there it feels like somebody ought to be standing up and saying, ‘We are being threatened and we are going to meet this with force — whatever’s necessary.’”

First, the fact that Bush is talking about a possible confrontation with Iran at all is discomforting, to put it mildly.

Second, I guess it’s too much to ask, but how about some scrutiny on the White House over the fact that the president is meeting with a nut like Dobson in the first place?

Good for a laugh

Published

May 16, 2007 - 11:55am

Author

randomness