(CNN) — Sen. Joe
Lieberman retained his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday following a lengthy and often heated
debate over what — if any — price the Connecticut Democrat-turned-Independent
should pay for his vocal support of Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential
Democratic caucus, meeting behind closed doors, voted 42 to 13 to allow
Lieberman to keep the high-profile chairmanship… "It's
all over with," Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a news conference
following the vote. "Joe Lieberman is a Democrat. He's part of this
But Joe isn't a Democrat, Harry. The Democrats of the state Joe Lieberman represents voted to not return him to the Senate. Joe only returned to the Senate because Republicans voted for him. And now Joe is an Independent Democrat, which is something else entirely different from being a Democrat. It's something that allows you to campaign against other Democrats in the Senate and speak at the Republican National Convention on behalf of a Republican presidential candidate.
And Joe did that while being part of the Democratic caucus.
So, no, Harry, Joe is not a Democrat. And I have no idea what supposedly is over. Does that mean he is going to support his party now that he's part of the Democratic caucus, when he campaigned against his party all this year while he was part of the Democratic caucus?
What is over? The Democratic leadership pretending to address the concerns of the Democrats they represent? I suppose so.
vehement criticism of the decision from elements of the party's more liberal
base, which has insisted that Lieberman be punished for failing to support
President-elect Barack Obama's campaign…
The party's more liberal base! There it is! The hippies, and the nutroots, and the potty-mouthed bloggers! The wild eyed lefties! Reid dismissed their criticism! Because they are crazy! And they're out of synch with the more centrist mainstream American!
Joe Lieberman represents Connecticut in the Senate. Wanna know how the people of Connecticut feel about Joe?
The numbers are worse for Lieberman, a
self-described "independent Democrat": 53 percent disapprove and 41
percent approve of his performance. Lieberman could not be reached for comment.
Fifty three percent of the people in Joe's own state disapprove of Joe's performance. Okay, but it's been a tough year to be in gubment. What does that really mean?
Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination, then won re-election
as a petitioning candidate. He remains a registered Democrat — though not in
the eyes of voters. Fifty-two percent consider him an independent, 22 percent a
Republican and just 15 percent a Democrat. Seventy-one percent of Republicans approve of his performance,
and 76 percent of Democrats disapprove.
Fifteen percent of all voters in Connecticut, the state Joe represents, consider him to be a Democrat. A whopping seventy one percent of Connecticut Republicans approve of his performance. And a monstrous seventy six percent of Connecticut Democrats disapprove of Joe Lieberman's performance.
And Reid dismissed criticism from the party's more liberal base! All seventy six percent of it!
These are the Democrats Joe Lieberman "represents". And they hate him and they don't consider him to be a Democrat. But Harry Reid, and 42 Democratic Senators, dismissed the crazy concerns of that fringe seventy six percent of the party and announced that Joe, despite a year campaigning for Republicans, is a solid Democrat and an asset to the party.
at the same press conference, Lieberman called the resolution allowing him to
keep the Homeland Security chairmanship "fair and forward leaning."
"It's a resolution… of reconciliation and not retribution, and I
appreciate it," he noted.
Well, we can all hope Joe Lieberman appreciates it as much as he appreciated Barack Obama campaigning on his behalf in the Connecticut primary.
The best we can take away from this horrendous rebuke to the desires of The People is that, apparently, 42 Democratic Senators are having affairs with their staffers and Joe Lieberman is aware of each and every one.
The worst is that the Democratic leadership is so removed from reality that they actually believe their ineffectual, stupid, weak, and submissive behavior of the last eight years is the reason they are back in the majority.
When Senate Dems caucus tomorrow, the Democratic leadership is likely to propose that he keep his Homeland Security chairmanship but lose a lesser sub-committee chairmanship instead, according to a source familiar with the situation.
It's not about retribution. It's not about punishment.
Joe Lieberman is a man who called Barack Obama a socialist and a Marxist, and questioned Obama's patriotism, while campaigning for Republican Senators and speaking at the Republican National Convention.
And these weak kneed idiots are going to allow this guy to keep a Chairmanship that will allow him to hold hearings and investigate the administration of...Barack Obama.
Sorry, but it's idiotic.
Democrats might as well give the Chairmanship to John McCain. Though, frankly, I'd rather see John McCain as Chairman of Homeland Security than Joe. At least McCain was embarrassed by some of the things he said or did during the campaign. Lieberman regards his sleazy betrayal of the man he mentored in the Senate as a fucking act of conscience.
I don't care what Joe is saying or promising in private. He will not keep his word. He never does.
He will break his promises and he will screw the Democratic party--like he did in '98, and 2000, and 2004, and 2008. And he will do it at the worst possible time, while sadly, in his Droopy Dog voice, proclaiming that it is his virtue and morality that compels him to commit disgustingly dishonest and dishonorable acts.
That's what he did when he dumped his first wife.
And I, for one, will take no pleasure in saying, "I told you so" since I, along with tens of millions of Americans who voted Democrats into office will likewise be getting screwed one more fucking time by the grinning garden gnome of sanctimonious scumbaggery.
And for what? The 58th Democratic vote, which is good for exactly nothing?
If Joe Lieberman is such a piece of shit that he would vote against Democratic interests because he lost his Chairmanship--if he would put himself before the ideals he supposedly believes in--then clearly this a man with no convictions and he can not be trusted with any position of power at all.
This is about good government. This is about protecting the interests of sixty six million Americans who voted for Barack Obama. This is about Democrats advancing a Democratic agenda.
Democrats in the Senate owe it to the Democrats who put them there to protect us from one more outrageous betrayal at the hands of man we fucking voted out of the party.
Why is it so hard to get Democrats in government to do what's best for Democrats in government?
It's time for our annual game: How much is really in the U.S. military budget?
As usual, it's about $200 billion more than most news stories are reporting. For the proposed fiscal year 2009 budget, which President Bush released today, the real size is not, as many news stories have reported, $515.4 billion—itself a staggering sum—but, rather, $713.1 billion…
…It is (adjusting for inflation) larger than any U.S. military budget since World War II.
It’s astonishing, isn’t it?
In 1952, the United States had 180,000 American soldiers and Marines fighting in Korea, against like a million Chinese. We had the entire 7th Fleet plus a bunch of other ships in constant combat. We had air forces in Japan and Korea flying day and night. And, to top it off, we had about 300,000 Americans in Europe to keep the Red Army in check.
The defense budget in 1952, adjusted for inflation?
About $500 billion.
In 1968, with 500,000 Americans serving in Vietnam. 300,000 still in Europe. SAC flying twenty four hours a day, ready and just aching to drop the Big One.
The defense budget in 1968. adjusted for inflation?
About $450 billion.
Today, with 130,000 troops in Iraq and another—what?—10,000 in Afghanistan and about seventy thousand in Europe and our defense budget is seven hundred and thirteen billion dollars?
Where in the great big Red, White and Blue fuck is the other two hundred billion dollars going???
We’re spending at least two hundred billion dollars more than we spent during the hottest years of Korea and Vietnam because 19 fucking lunatics, whose last known addresses were caves, hijacked a couple of planes???
Are you shitting me???
Christ Almighty, we could do what the Saudis do and just pay bin Laden directly a couple hundred million a year to not attack the United States and we’d save two hundred billion dollars.
And if that encouraged every single homicidal maniac in the world to also come calling with their hands out, we could pay all of them too and still save one hundred and ninety nine billion dollars.
What is the sense of this War On Terrorism???
I mean, honestly, for two hundred billion dollars a year, we could just cut each and every Palestinian—all nine million of them--a check for $20,000 a year. I don’t think that’s a great idea, but I bet it would do a hell of a lot more to prevent mid-eastern terrorists from attacking the United States. And zero Americans would come home in body bags or wheel chairs or back braces with screws in their foreheads.
But then again, getting value for your tax payer dollar is something fiscally conservative, Republicans can’t even begin to understand.
That’s why most of them still think that lowering something like 40 million Americans’ tax payments by an “average” of $1500 a year, while doubling the national debt was a tax cut.
But even worse than the multibillion dollar rip off is the inescapable rip off that’s coming, but most of us don’t even know it yet:
("National Defense," by the way, does not include programs in the Department of Homeland Security; that's another story.)
Why is this so bad? Because Homeland Security will be just like the Department of Defense when it comes to handing out dollar bills. And how are dollar bills handed out to the Department of Defense now?
Congress exposes this budget to virtually no scrutiny, fearing that any major cuts—any serious questions—will incite charges of being "soft on terror" and "soft on defense." But $536 billion of this budget—the Pentagon's base line plus the discretionary items for the Department of Energy and other agencies—has nothing to do with the war on terror. And it's safe to assume that a fair amount has little to do with defense. How much it does and doesn't is a matter of debate. Right now, nobody's even debating.
We could probably have a bigger, meaner, more effective military machine for half of what we pay every year for our bloated defense budget.
The Pentagon is and has been for at least fifty years the world’s biggest shopping bazarr. And it’s a monstrously corrupt, almost comically inefficient machine—for just a taste, I’d highly recommend reading this book, Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War.
(And we can thank our lasting monumental military waste on the Sainted Ronny Rotten and his Reagan Republicans, who, just at the moment the Church Committee and the Military Reform Caucus, and the Pentagon reformers were gaining a bit of traction, spent the next eight years hysterically citing Team B reports and throwing billions of unnecessary dollars at totally inexistent threats. Our military has never recovered. It probably never will.)
And it’s political suicide for any Congress man or woman to object to anything the Department of Defense wants. Beyond that, it may even be political suicide for a politician to agree to what the Department of Defense wants—you all remember the Bush/Cheney ’04 ads accusing John Kerry of depriving the military of the Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters and F-16s it needed to combat the terrorism of men with plane tickets and plastic knives?
Oh, on September 11th, if only we had had more tanks flying from Boston to California!
That aside, Kerry voted for Defense cuts proposed by Dick Cheney! And he still got murdered for it! By Dick Cheney!
And now we have a second Department of Defense—the Department of Homeland Security. Which was appallingly stupid and unnecessary from its retarded inception in dumbass Joe Lieberman’s war fevered little brain.
In like seven years, I think the only thing I ever agreed with Bush about was how we did not need a creepy, Orwellian sounding Department of Homeland Security. It didn't eliminate any government agencies. It just added one more level to them. And nothing ever gets more efficient by adding a gigantic whole new level of administrators.
Seriously, I was a big Bush backer on his one good decision, in seven years, to oppose that stupid thing.
But, then, Bush, , waffling, irresolute flip flopper that he was, caved because of politics—because stupid ass Joe Lieberman had the votes—and created a bigger monster than even Lieberman had envisioned in his wildest, stupidest, twisted little bobble-headed retarded garden gnomed dreams.
And, gee, guess what? Though, the Department of Homeland Security now gets a relatively small amount of our federal budget. It won’t be long before it gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
And it will face less and less scrutiny, as more and more Congress men and women become afraid of being called “weak on Homeland Security”. And more corporate Congressional lobbyists and donors, seek out those lucrative gubment Homeland Security contracts.
And soon, there won’t be any debate or scrutiny, or competitive bids on our brand new $700 billion Homeland Security budget.
And we’ll all get used to that.
Just like we’re used to spending outrageous and totally unjustified money for defense.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said recently that, quite apart from the wars, the nation should get used to spending 4 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. This isn't an unreasonable sum in terms of what the nation can afford. But the same could be said of many other functions of government. It has very little to do with what the nation needs. The $515.4 billion in the base line Defense Department budget amounts to 3.4 percent of GNP. Is that not enough? Should we throw in another $85 billion to boost it to 4 percent? The relevant question, in any case, should be not how much we spend, but what we buy.
Until the modern Gee Oh Pee hollows this country out like a gourd and totally bankrupts us, we will not have any intelligent discussion, with regard to defense or Homeland Security, about what we need.
If I believed in irony, I'd say it's ironic. The people who shout and scream the loudest about a strong military will, in the end, be the very people who wreck our American military.
Because when we finally do start talking about what we need, we’ll be so busted out and in debt, and hated and broke, we won’t have the money to pay for it.
…Edwards' boundless optimism and energy has his limits, and today he admitted what all the pundits and politicos have been saying for the past month: the Democratic contest is a two-person race, and Edwards is not one of them…
Yes, it is difficult to understand why, as Time Magazine wonders, John Edwards message never caught on with people when all the pundits and all the politicos have been saying for the past month that Edwards isn't even part of the Democratic primary.
When people turn on their TV sets, or open up a magazine or newspaper, or read the news on Al Gore's internets, and all the pundits and all the politicos therein tell them that there are basically two candidates for the Democratic nomination--Obama and Clinton--it sure is a big mystery why a third candidate, John Edwards, somehow couldn't appeal to more people.
Edwards' challenge from the beginning of his presidential quest was to stay relevant…
Yes, Edwards' big challenge was to stay relevant. But what Time Magazine doesn't tell you is that Edwards' big challenge was not to stay relevant to actual voters. No, Edwards' challenge was to stay relevant to Time Magazine.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its latest campaign coverage index for January 6-11, a study that does its damndest to try to quantify which political figures are sucking up the most media oxygen and why.
It found that Edwards only got 7% of political coverage during those days -- less than one-fifth of what Hillary earned, and less than one-forth of that accorded to Obama. Edwards even got less attention than Mike Huckabee, even though he, like Edwards, finished third in the New Hampshire primary…
For literally the past year we've been hearing justifications for the fact that Edwards, despite being competitive in Iowa polls, didn't get the attention that his Dem rivals got -- he didn't raise as much money; his candidacy isn't as historic as theirs; etc., etc. Indeed, the virtual media blackout of Edwards got so glaringly obvious that even New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt urged his paper to give Edwards more attention back in November. At a certain point we should just acknowledge that Edwards basically got screwed and that this shouldn't have happened to the extent that it did.
During the primaries, John Edwards, a former Vice Presidential candidate and totally viable candidate for the Presidency of the United States, got seven percent of the political coverage and Time Magazine is explaining to people now that Edwards problem was that he wasn't relevant to voters. Edwards problem was that his message never caught on.
He got one fifth of the press Clinton got and he beat her in Iowa. Can you imagine how well he might have done if he got five times as much press as he got?
Gee, it sure is a mystery worth explaining why his message never caught on with voters who never got to hear it.
[Edwards’ strategy] at first seemed shrewd: build on Edwards' surprisingly good showing in Iowa in 2004 and make his native South Carolina his firewall while garnering union support…
While he managed to pull out a surprising second-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, beating out Clinton, he placed a disappointing third in New Hampshire and his campaign was stunned when he garnered just 4% of the vote in the Nevada caucuses.
At first, Edwards' strategy seemed shrewd! His second place finish in Iowa was surprising! That's the kind of thing that can really breath life into a campaign. And we all remember how shrewd Edwards seemed and how surprising his second place finish was because of all the attention it got!
For instance, let's look at how CNN, a partner of Time Magazine, couldn't stop talking about Edwards' shrewd strategy that led to his surprising second place finish in Iowa!
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama's victory Thursday in critical Democratic Iowa caucuses indicate voters saw him as a candidate of change, according to entrance polls…
The finish was a blow to Clinton -- the presumptive front-runner in the months leading up to this year's campaign who had hoped a win in Iowa would be the start of an uninterrupted run to the nomination….
"Just over half of Democratic caucus-goers said change was the No. 1 factor they were looking for in a candidate, and 51 percent of those voters chose Barack Obama," said CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider. "That compares to only 19 percent of 'change' caucus-goers who preferred Clinton..."
Twenty percent of Democrats said Clinton's campaign mantra -- experience -- was the most important attribute of a presidential candidate.
At Obama's caucus-night headquarters in Des Moines, the hall filled with people late Thursday in anticipation of the candidate's speech…
Obama's victory came despite Clinton's support from EMILY's List…
The Clinton campaign itself also contacted tens of thousands of Iowans who had never caucused…
Appearing in front of cheering supporters Thursday with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at her side, Clinton refused to back down...
"I am so ready for the rest of this campaign and I am so ready to lead," she said, smiling.
And there's more. The whole article is about Obama--fine, he won--and Clinton, who came in third.
Edwards, who shrewdly and surprisingly finished second, gets mentioned four times with an entire twenty words devoted to him.
Half of those words were "and", "the", "a", "North Carolina" and "also".
John Edwards campaign, the one that pulled the Democratic party millimeters towards the left where most Americans interests and hearts reside, was killed by your Liberal Media.
They hated him, they ignored him, they buried his message, and wrote him right out of the simple and exciting narrative of a two candidate race between an establishment woman and a fresh faced black man. Which was the story they always wanted to tell and was waaaaaay more interesting to them than writing all that boring blah, blah, blah whatever about falling median incomes and jobs going to Whereeverstan and something stinks and poor people are Americans, too, and whatever!
Let's talk about what's really important in this campaign: is Hillary showing more milky white cleavage these days to counter the fact that most voters think black guys have big dicks? Or maybe she's going totally lesbo with her staffers to triangulate and negate the big, black dick factor!
John Edwards may not have been the best Democratic candidate. I thought he was. But that's a personal preference, and come November I'll gladly, gleefully pull the lever for either Obama or Clinton.
But the John Edwards' Presidency was not killed because of his campaign. It wasn't killed because his message didn't catch on. And it didn't die because of money or relevancy or hair cuts or mansions or any of that other bullshit.
His campaign died because all the pundits and all the politicos killed it. Because they hated it.
And his campaign died because, once again, the good people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina--three states you'd have a hard time finding anyone else in the remaining 47 states saying are representative of America--got to have their ridiculously disproportionate say in who will be the next President of the United States.
For the Democrats, twenty three of the most populous states in the country have zero say in who is going to be the Democratic candidate until, election after election, the field is narrowed to two.
I live in one of the ten most populous states in the country, and, in the last twenty years, I have never been able to cast even a single vote in a Democratic primary.
But every four years, the people of Iowa have a slate of six or seven or eight candidates.
The people of New Hampshire can vote for any number of candidates.
The people of South Carolina get to cast the deciding votes on whoever's left from Iowa and New Hampshire.
And the other forty seven states have to go along.
Otherwise, their delegates get stripped and they have to go along, anyway.
And afterwards, Time Magazine explains to you that the vote that 98% of you never got to cast for the candidate you never got to see 93% of the time was a clear indication that some message you never got to hear just didn't resonate with Americans.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic lawmakers and staffers privately say they're closing in on a broad budget deal that would give President Bush as much as $70 billion in new war funding.
The deal would lack a key provision Democrats had attached to previous funding bills calling for most U.S. troops to come home from Iraq by the end of 2008, which would be a significant legislative victory for Bush.
Democrats admit such a move would be highly controversial within their own party. Coming just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, vowed the White House would not get another dollar in war money this year, it would further antagonize the liberal base of the party, which has become frustrated with the congressional leadership's failure to push back on Bush's Iraq policy.
"The base will not be happy," said one senior Democratic aide, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss budget negotiations that have not been completed.
Christ, Allmighty, has there ever been a bigger, stupider blight on America than "senior Democratic aides"?
Okay, fine, you're right--Republican presidents have been. Also, I know, Republican House and Senate leaders. And, I grant you, Republican minority leaders. "Values voters" are pretty bad, too. And probably any Democrat who wins Iowa.
Your point is well taken.
But you have to admit: senior Democratic aides are up there.
The base won't be happy?
We're not your base, douchebag. We're not like the trained seals on the extreme fanatical right. We don't listen for code words in your speeches, or pop dangerous four hour long boners when you throw some blood in the water. And if you get your picture taken with a lamp light in the background, we don't think that's a halo and we just saw the second coming of Jesus.
We're concerned Americans. We're the majority of Americans. And we arrived at our opinions all by ourselves and long before our "representatives" and their dumbass "senior Democratic aides", who we had to drag, kicking and screaming, to our point of view by soundly voting out the last Congress which didn't listen to us.
We are not your "base"--we're not even convinced we "like" you. We just feel the alternative is too corrupt and perverted, and unintelligent to even be bothered with trying to fix.
What we are is your "boss". And we're extremely unhappy with your job performance.
Unless, of course, by "base", you mean an actual military base. Then, you're absolutely correct!
Patience with the war, which has lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin -- particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One- quarter say American troops should stay "as long as it takes to win." Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or "right away."
Military families are only slightly more patient: 35 percent are willing to stay until victory; 58 percent want them home within a year or sooner.
Here, too, the military families surveyed are in sync with the general population, 64 percent of whom call for a withdrawal by the end of next year.
But if that's not what this "senior Democratic aide" meant, then God forgive his mother for whatever she did with her relatives to spawn such a tail bearing moron.
Privately, Democrats say they have little choice but to give the president at least some war funding because Senate Republicans have vowed to block any final budget deal unless it has at least some of the war funding Bush has requested.
Of course! Because when you're confronted by a President with a 28% approval rate who wants seventy billion dollars for something 64% of Americans disagree with, what choice do you have but to give in???
Senior Democratic aides will tell you that's the smart move every time.
Still, Democrats are trying to sell $70 billion in new war funding as a partial victory for them. They point out that while the final numbers are still in flux during intense private negotiations, Bush is likely to get far less money than he originally requested.
"What is for sure is he will not get all $200 billion," said one senior Democratic lawmaker. "Whatever number it is, it is much less than what the president asked for. For the first time in this war, he has received less than his request."
But senior administration officials privately say they expect to be able to get at least of the rest of the president's $200 billion request passed through Congress next year.
I'm sure that "senior Democratic aides" advised Democrats that it would be a partial victory to defeat Bush's two hundred billion dollar request for the most unpopular war in American history by giving him seventy billion now. And the rest later.
It was truly infuriating and disheartening to watch Democrats fail to do the right thing just because the right thing was unpopular.
I don't know what the words are to describe watching Democrats fail to do the right thing even when it is popular.
WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday publicly held U.S. debt breached $9 trillion this week for the first time ever, just five weeks after Congress had raised the statutory borrowing limitâ¦
The increase in the debt limit is the fifth since Bush took office in January 2001. The U.S. debt stood at about $5.6 trillion at the start of his presidencyâ¦
The Greatest Tax Cut Evah!
Seven years ago, the government was running a 230 billion dollar and growing surplus. By 2012--only four years from now--our national debt--our entire national debt--would have been paid off. Each and every American taxpayer would have enjoyed a tax cut from getting rid of the 300 billion dollar plus interest payments on our debt.
After eight years of doing our part, working hard, paying our taxes, when Bush leaves office, each and every American taxpayer is going to be rewarded by owing nearly twice as much as when Bush literally took office.
That's some tax cut.
In approving the debt limit increase, Congressional lawmakers said the $850 billion increase should be large enough to allow the government to continue borrowing into 2009, well beyond next year's presidential and congressional elections.
Oh, thank goodness! I'd hate to think our elected representatives would actually have to answer questions about the trillion dollars they just borrowed in our name during an election year! That would be so distracting from the more important issues of taxing whores, burning flags, speaking English, and making little children recite a pledge they don't even understand.
The modern Gee Oh Pee is horrendous. It's a nation wrecking machine. There's no denying that.
But you've got to admit: the modern Democratic party is weak and lazy, and either too dumb or too scared to fight.
In eight years of fiscally conservative leadership, the Gee Oh Pee added four trillion dollars of debt to American taxpayers. Those were eight years under a "CEO" styled fiscally conservative Republican president. Six out of eight of those years were under a fiscally conservative Republican House, which, under Bill Clinton pretended to want a Constitutional Amendment to balance the budget. And four of those eight years--the four record setting deficit years--were under a Republican House, Senate, and President.
The Gee Oh Pee, given total control of our government, answered in red and red for once and for all the age old question of which party can taxpayers trust more when it comes to their money.
And Democrats, quite helpfully, took that issue off the table until after next year's Presidential and Congressional elections.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Slain al Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a "diabolically brilliant" war tactician, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, likening him to Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant…
"He was diabolically brilliant," Rice said of Zarqawi.
Want to know how brilliant he was? Ready for it?
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 4 — In the video released last week by the terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, he is seen firing long bursts from a heavy automatic rifle, his forearms sprouting from beneath black fatigues as he exudes the very picture of a strong jihadist leader.
In out-takes from the same video, Mr. Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, cuts an altogether different figure:
As the camera rolls, Mr. Zarqawi is flummoxed by how to fire the machine gun until an aide walks over and fiddles with the weapon so it discharges. Another scene shows Mr. Zarqawi hand the weapon off to several other insurgents, who absent-mindedly grab it by its scalding hot barrel.
And after his shooting scene, Mr. Zarqawi walks away from the camera to reveal decidedly non-jihadist footwear: Comfortable white New Balance sneakers…
But with the release of the out-takes today the American military sought to send a very different message: That Mr. Zarqawi is a poseur who can't even fire a basic infantry weapon and walks around in comfortable shoes.
In last week's video, "He is very proud he can operate this machine gun," General Lynch said. It was, "Look at me. I'm a capable leader of a capable organization."
"But what he didn't show you was the clip I showed you," General Lynch said. "Wearing New Balance sneakers with his uniform, surrounded by supposedly competent subordinates who grabbed the hot barrel of a just-fired machine gun."
The general continued: "We have a warrior leader, Zarqawi, who doesn't understand how to operate his weapons system and has to rely on his subordinates to clear a weapons stoppage. It makes you wonder."
A bumbling, incompetent, bullshitting poseur--no wonder Condi thinks he was brilliant! He probably reminded her of her husband...er, I mean her president.
Condi almost makes it too easy--did I say "almost"?
It is wrong to dismiss Zarqawi's killing as a temporary or insignificant victory in the long fight against terrorism, Rice continued.
"When you hear people say ... 'If you kill one of them, they'll just replace him with another leader,' remember that that's like saying, 'If you take out Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant, well, they'll just replace them with another leader.' " Rice said. "There are people who are better at this than others."
Though, she's right--there are some people who are better at things than others. Like, for instance, every person who's ever worked in the White House is better than every single person who has worked there in the last seven years.
And while I doubt bumbling, incompetent poseur Zarqawi was better at creating mayhem in Iraq than anyone else, if he was, it really begs the question:
Why didn't we take him out before he became the diabolically brilliant leader of al Qaeda in Iraq?
But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger…
In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq…
The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council…
The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it…
The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it…
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
And just for those of you keeping score at home, the National Security Advisor who killed the plan to take out the Robert E. Lee of the Iraqi insurgency was...Condi Rice!
Condi's statement also raises a second question:
Just who in the hell has been saying, "If you kill one of them, they'll just replace him with another leader"?
Oh, that's right! The Bush administration!
For five years.
Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of --
THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.
Terror is bigger than one person…
So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you…
Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
Then there was:
Q Scott, you said three-quarters of al Qaeda leadership who's been captured or killed -- I assume you meant known leadership.
MR. McCLELLAN: That's right. Well, and we know that they replace their leaders…
Q Would it make a huge difference if [bin Laden] was found at this point, or killed or captured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, that's why I made the point that it is much broader than any one person…
And who else was saying that if you take out one leader--say, a Robert E. Lee type--it would just be a temporary victory in the long war on terrorism?
Although Zawahiri is a major leader in the al Qaeda terrorist network and his capture or death would boost the war on terrorism, Rice cautioned, it would not mean the end of terrorism.
"We've always said al Qaeda is not just one man, it's a network," she explained.
That's right! Condi Rice.
First she tells us there are no indespensible figures, no Robert E. Lees of al Qaeda(who no one said there were in the first place; we simply said bin Laden killed 2000 Americans and we ought to do something about that) then she lectures us about how wrong and misinformed it is to say there are no single men in al Qaeda who are more important than others.
Is she a piece of work or what? Does she kiss the Preznit with that mouth? Because it's full of bullshit.
But, hey, Condi, if that's true, if there are people who are better at organizing terrorist organizations and carrying out terrorist attacks, then tell me:
Why in the great blue fuck did we invade Iraq instead of expending all of our considerable resources on the "just one man" who actually organized al Qaeda and carried out the 9/11 attacks on America?
Amid the tumult, the president has sought refuge in history…
After reading Andrew Roberts's "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900," Bush brought in the author and a dozen other scholars to talk about the lessons. "What can I learn from history?"
Much of the discussion focused on the nature of good and evil, a perennial theme for Bush, who casts the struggle against Islamic extremists in black-and-white terms. Michael Novak, a theologian who participated, said it was clear that Bush weathers his difficulties because he sees himself as doing the Lord's work.
His faith is very strong," said Novak, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Faith is not enough by itself because there are a lot of people who have faith but weak hearts. But his faith is very strong. He seeks guidance, like every other president does, in prayer. And that means trying to be sure he's doing the right thing. And if you've got that set, all the criticism, it doesn't faze you very much. You're answering to God."
Here's something you can learn about history!
When you're President of the United States, a democratic Republic, you answer to The People.
When you lead a nation and answer only to God, you're a tyrant. In a theocracy.
You're probably a little crazy, as well.
And a bunch of bad shit is sure to happen because of it.
Really. History teaches us that. You could look it up and everything.