Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ted Haggard Scaming Again!

Ted is back, and working with another convicted sex offender to scam bucks from believers. If you recall he was "cured" by James Dobson in a three week program to make him straight again after his sex for hire scandal. Oh yea, and there was the drug thing too, but anyway....

Americablog has the story of how he is soliciting funds for a defunct charity now run by another convicted sex offender in Colorado. Guess its a self help-yourself program?

Fred Thompson, Stealth Candidate?

The big question seems to be, when Fred Thompson is going to announce his candidacy for GOP nominee for the presidential race. I suspect he will put it off as long as possible. So long as the Hollywood star and former Nixon operative remains aloof, he has no legal obligation to disclose where his funds are coming from. He can keep his war chest a mystery.

One wonders if he hasn’t been taking lessons from Dick Cheney, master of secrecy? He has been making speeches like a candidate, attending t the same photo ops as candidates and going through all the motions of being a candidate, but just has avoided the little legality of declaring himself.

Meanwhile Romney and Huckabee are pressing the same flesh and speaking at many of the same events, but they are playing by the rules. Though I have no admiration for anyone in the GOP right now, at least they are somewhat honest about their intentions. Come on Fred, declare or get out of the spotlight.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

GOP Lobby Group Plots Maliki Ouster?

Barbour Griffith & Rogers a right wing lobby group is working with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to change regimes in Iraq. This according to who noted that BGR had been contracted by Alawi to create a web site for the former interim leader and has been engaged in mass emailings calling for the ouster of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

No wonder Maliki has been so touchy lately!


Bush Administration Fails To Fulfill Promise To Troops, Armored Vehicles Fall Short Of Promise

Bush really supports the troops....but only about half as much as he promised. That's the disturbing fact in the latest report on the delivery of armored MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles to the war zone. The Pentagon had ordered 3500 of the roadside-bomb resistant vehicles, but the contractor will only have about 1500 delivered by years end.

Troops have been begging for this kind of thing from the early days of the war. The Humvee makes a poor defense against mines since they have little armor. Troops have been scavenging waste dumps for armor plating and retrofitting the vehicles themselves in the meantime.

If this kind of support is any indication of how much Bush cares for our men and women fighting his war, then he's just paying lip service. No surprise there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nameless Wounded Iraqi Vet Exploited In Latest White House PR Push

A front group for the Bush White House is using the heart wrenching image of a wounded Iraqi veteran to promote the war, you'd think they would know his name? Apparently not!

Ari Fleisher, back from a long needed rest and now the front man for "Freedom Watch", appeared on MSNBC's Hardball. This group produced the ads and not knowing the name of the vet that starred in them really rubbed people the wrong way. Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America was not amused.

“What bothered me the most is that Ari Fleischer didn’t even know the guy’s name.” said Rieckhoff. “He’s willing to run a multi-million dollar campaign, utilizing the personal story of a soldier, and he couldn’t tell you on national TV what that soldier’s name is.”

The White House backed group is cranking up a month long $15 million dollar radio, TV and grass roots campaign to bolster flagging support for the war. This in coordination with the Patraeus report that will come out on 9/11 (big surprise!) is designed to motivate constituents to back the surge.

Bush Likens Iraq To Vietnam - Duh!

Sometimes waking up to NPR is a startling experience. We have our clock radio set to the local NPR affiliate and mist mornings it’s nice to hear sane calm voices actually reporting the news. Most of the stories are about important world events but few were as unsettling as the one that caused both my partner and I to sit bolt upright and shout, “WHAT!”

The reporter had just stated that in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars President Bush will liken Iraq to Vietnam. He will warn Democrats not to make the same mistakes. WHAT?!?

If you have read my blog or any other with even a slightly progressive bent you have no doubt seen people likening Iraq to Vietnam for years now. The mistake made was not getting us out, but getting us involved in the first place. Iraq has become exactly like Vietnam without the jungle. We are mugged down in a guerilla war, a civil war and a political nightmare. Like Vietnam, the puppet government is ineffective and basically AWOL. Now Bush is trying to push the whole thing off on Democrats?

I will agree that there was a blood bath after we left Vietnam, but there was a blood bath while we were there as well. In Iraq where the killing was limited to the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, now the killing happens in every street and village with seeming impunity. This bloodbath, we caused by destabilizing the region and arming the militant factions that hate each other.

Bush is trying to spin his legacy, but try as he may, the rude awakening is simply this, he got us into this mess and now he is desperate to find someone else to blame.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Poll Shows Liberals Read More Than Conservatives

A new poll from the Associated Press has some interesting numbers. The overall theme is that conservatives don’t read as much as liberals. Given the lack of intellectual curiosity of our current President it doesn’t surprise me.

The poll show among other things that 34 percent of conservatives have not read a book within the past year, compared with 22 percent of liberals and moderates. Additionally, among those who have read a book in the last year, Democrats and Independents read a larger number than Republicans.

So next time you decide to rag on President Bush for reading My Pet Goat on September 11, remember he was at least reading!

The Daily Show Goes To Iraq - Really!

Only the folks at the Daily Show could send a correspondent to Iraq and bring back something humorous. Rob Riggle, comedian and "reporter" actually went to Iraq for the segment that is featured each night this week. Watch it. It's telling that the report actually says nothing, much like the real news lately!

Monday, August 20, 2007

More Fallout From Chinese Poisoned Toys

The chickens are coming home to roost in the form of class action lawsuits. The first against Mattel, is aimed at forcing the world's largest toy maker to pay for the testing of children who might have gotten lead poisoning from the toys. The latest Chinese-made playthings were die cast metal cars sold by Mattel that were recalled because of high levels of lead in the paint.

This is only the first lawsuit and I expect others. Again I have to wonder the cost benefits of making toys in China when you incorporate the legal problems. As a good friend who was a caterer once said, “the bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price.”

Petraeus Will Testify On September 11?

From the " You're Not Going To Believe This" file comes the latest news that General Petraeus will now testify in an open hearing before Congress on...(drum roll) September 11!

So now the Bush camp figuring it can't invoke the 9/11 attacks in the actual testimony puts it on that date. Coincodence? I think not, and neither do many others. This kind of not so subtile crap from the Bush White House has become standard fare, but this time it is so transparent I hope the American people will see through it and the myriad of time the "irony" of the date will be drummed up in the news.

Now, what will he say? Let's guess. Things are going well. Bright future for Iraq. Nothing but blue skys! Of course that is if you take out the roadside bombs, insurgents that have stepped up activity, and the AWOL Iraqi Parliment.

My guess is the GOP will interpret whatever is said as good and the democrats will see it as "mixed". The Dems are still affraid to stand up to Bush on his failed war, and this will be no different.

Another Governor Assassinated In Iraq

The military may be making some sort of progress in Iraq, though I am not sure how they quantify this, but Iraq politics is dead. Yet another assassination of a governor by a roadside bomb indicates the depth of the civil war in Iraq. This marks the second assassination of a regional governor in the last two weeks. Couple this with the lackluster performance of the Iraqi Parliament and you have a country that has no rudder politically.

Mohammed Ali al-Hassani, governor of the southern Iraqi province of Muthanna died yesterday in what is seen as a growing conflict between militia and political factions. It’s not a sign of much stability, and another example of the deepening rift between rival Shiite factions, giving the whole affair a new dimension. Now Shiites are fighting each other.

Meanwhile the Parliament is on vacation. Are these guys taking lessons from Bush?