March 21, 2006

Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
Lucky troops:

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday the decision about when to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq will fall to future presidents and Iraqi leaders, suggesting that U.S. involvement will continue at least through 2008.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

By Monica Davey and Eric Schmitt, New York Times

San Jose, Calif. - Patrick K. Tillman stood outside his law office here, staring intently at a yellow house across the street, just over 70 yards away. That, he recalled, is how far away his eldest son, Pat, who gave up a successful N.F.L. career to become an Army Ranger, was standing from his fellow Rangers when they shot him dead in Afghanistan almost two years ago.

Categories: Blogs


Washington - Dozens of U.S. anti-war protesters were arrested on Monday in demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war, while others denounced President George W. Bush during an appearance in Cleveland.

Pentagon Force Protection Agency police arrested 51 people on misdemeanor charges of failure to obey a lawful order during a demonstration outside the Pentagon, Defense Department spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said.

Categories: Blogs

By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t |

He is referred to as "official one" and he is the mysterious senior Bush administration official who unmasked the identity of an undercover CIA operative to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003 and conservative columnist Robert Novak a month later.

The identity of this official is shrouded in secrecy. In fact, his name, government status, and the substance of his conversation with Woodward about the undercover officer are under a protective seal in US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Categories: Blogs
From Greg Sargent:

Either way, the problem is this: Those critics can't be placated. The right wouldn't stop shrieking their "media is liberal" war cry if every single major liberal columnist in America were hauled off in tumbrels and beheaded on the Mall. Right-wing media criticism isn't about achieving the "balance" they supposedly seek; it's about bullying and intimidating mainstream reporters and pundits to fear being labeled as "liberals" if they don't reproduce GOP spin, even when they know it to be false. It's also about enabling right-wing voices that are far out of the mainstream to infiltrate the media.

Take a look at Domenech's maiden voyage. He writes:

[E]ven in a climate where Republicans hold command of every branch of government, and advocate views shared by a majority of voters, the mainstream media continues to treat red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist - an alien and off-kilter group of suburbanite churchgoers about which little is known, and whose natural habitat is a discomforting place for even the most hardened reporter from the New York Times.

Domenech's MSM-bashing, of course, is belied by his own apparent hiring. And the paper's columnists include conservatives Charles Krauthammer and George Will. Indeed, one way to think about the right's "media-is-liberal" campaign is as a kind of crude protection racket. The analogy isn't perfect, but the idea is this: The right-wing criticism effectively says to the MSM, "Look, there are a lot of pretty pissed off people out there who think you're too liberal. You need to hire some of us to protect you against them and the too-liberal charge."

And Chris Bowers:

I still believe this, only now I feel it has developed to such a degree that the right-wing blogosphere itself has been all but annihilated. Most major right-wing bloggers have now been incorporated into the established news media apparatus. Glenn Reynolds is a columnist for MSNBC. Andrew Sullivan is a columnist for Time. Michelle Malkin is a frequently published columnist in a number of offline outlets. And now, RedState co-founder Ben Domenech has a regular column in the Washington Post. Despite being the latest in a long line of conservative bloggers to achieve "mainstream" status with the established news media, his first column was, predictably, an attack on the same institutions that just hired him and gave him space.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
From Big Pharma's site:

This idiocy should be self-refuting, but maybe I'll explain it so even dittoheads and Jeff Goldstein can understand. I'll assume his fatality numbers are roughly correct.

There are 300,000,0000 people in this coutnry. There are about 130,000 troops serving in Iraq. Think about that and why that graphic makes you the likely winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize for Excellence in Wankery.

(tip from reader s)
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

From the Congressional Record:

Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Amendment offered by Ms. Lee:
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:
SEC. ----. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used

Categories: Blogs
The incompetence dodge is just that. But it's precisely where the foreign policy line is being drawn in the Democratic party, between those who thought all along the war was a disaster and those who imagine that if they had been in charge things could've worked out better.

I'm with those (obviously) who think it's fundamentally important not just to repudiate the execution of policy by the Bush administration, but the policies themselves and their justifications. "Like Bush only better" will not win a presidential election.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
From Edsall:

Tom Edsall: The hiring of Ben Domenench of RedState has provoked a firestorm, if the volume of questions this morning is any measure. One theory in the newsroom is that he was hired at the behest of Dana Milbank.
More seriously, I am told that this is part of the Post's web operation's efforts to provide diverse views. These decisions are, unfortunately, above my paygrade, much as I would love to have the power to hire and fire.

There are a couple of more questions there about it as well. In any case, for the record I'm not of the belief that the Post is required to provide balance on its editorial page or website. But Posties have expressed a desire for balance, and if hiring Domenech who has no counterpart on the left is their way of achieving that it's ridiculous.

Meanwhile, DeLong suggests that this is a clever plan by the Post to publish a frothing idiot to discredit the Right. Who knows, might explain Krauthammer too. I doubt it though, and skippy notices some wee factual errors.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

By Susan Oehler, Western North Carolina Peace Coalition


On March 19, 2006, the Western North Carolina Peace Coalition held a Rally for Peace. This was the third annual rally to mark the start of the Iraq war, and this followed large pre-war rallies in 2002 and 2003. Our theme for this Rally for Peace was "the wages of peace".

Categories: Blogs
Where we first came in we had Andrew Sullivan claiming that he was for Bush tax cuts but that he wanted spending cuts to match them:

So let's recap: I'm in favor of Bush's tax cuts, but want spending cuts to match them; I favor balanced budgets... I want more money for defense, specifically more troops...

Now we find out that he in fact supports a bunch of big tax increases (and rolling back one of Bush's tax cuts).

Kevin Drum has challenged me to detail how I'd balance budgets while keeping Bush's tax cuts. (A small clarification: I'd keep the estate tax as it once was; and I'd add a buck to the gas tax pronto.) I'd prefer experts like Brian Riedl or Veronique de Rugy to propose detailed cuts. But my back-of-the-envelope wish-list is that I'd repeal the Medicare drug entitlement, abolish ear-marks, institute a line-item veto, pass a balanced budget amendment, means-test social security benefits, index them to prices rather than wages, extend the retirement age to 72 (and have it regularly extended as life-spans lengthen), abolish agricultural subsidies, end corporate welfare, legalize marijuana and tax it, and eliminate all tax loopholes and deductions, including the mortgage deduction, (I'd keep the charitable deduction). For good measure, I'd get rid of the NEA and the Education Department.

Let's try to separate the things which are tax increases and those which are spending cuts.

Tax increases:
Repeal estate tax cut
A dollar a gallon gas tax increase
Eliminating all tax loopholes (?) and deductions except the charitable deduction.

Spending cuts:
Repealing Medicare drug plan.
Abolish agricultural subsidies.
Eliminate NEA and Department of Education.

The rest are policies which don't do anything in and of themselves (balanced budget amendment, line item veto, earmarks), in the realm of fantasyland (taxing marijuana), too ambiguous to really address directly ("corporate welfare"), or do nothing for the health of the budget generally unless you support raiding payroll taxes (social security benefit cuts).

Let's start with the spending cuts. All these numbers are going to be ballpark. Eliminating the NEA will save about $120 million. Eliminating the Department of Education will get you $56 billion and make a lot of state and local governments very angry. Farm subsidies will get you about $25 billion and throw the Senate to which ever party opposes the cuts. Killing Medicare D will save you about $65 billion. So, total roughly $145 billion in spending cuts.

Now for the tax increases. A buck gallon gas tax increases taxes by about $100 billion. No estate tax repeal (bring it back to where it was) increases taxes by $25 billion. Ending the mortgage deduction alone increases taxes by about $75 billion. I'll not worry about the other deductions.

So, Sullivan does come close to getting rid of the federal deficit by reducing spending about $145 billion and by increasing taxes by about $200 billion, mostly with regressive taxes hitting the poor (gas taxes) and middle class (gas tax & mortgage deduction), although he also wants to increase military spending so we'll have to pay for that somehow.

My dream is that Republicans propose these things, so Democrats can rule for all eternity.

Repeating, all these numbers are ballpark and shouldn't be cited with any authority...(and if anyone notices a number that's grossly off let me know).
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
Not that this wasn't obvious, but now we know. Bush equates leaving with losing.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

Err, how about if I come this close to telling the truth?

Bush this morning: "I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong ... with all due respect," he told a reporter. "No president wants war." To those who say otherwise, "it's simply not true," Bush said.

Every time Bush is asked about the false claims that he and his staff used to promote this war, he avoids the subject of WMDs and repeats yet again one of his more ludicrous false claims, namely that he tried to avoid war and was forced into it by Saddam Hussein. Yet, we know from numerous sources that Bush and others planned this war before he even moved to Washington. We know from the 2002 Downing Street Documents, the January 2003 White House Memo, and many other sources that Bush was intent on going to war and devoting his efforts not to avoiding it, but to selling it to the public. Bush tried to persuade the United Nations to give Iraq an ultimatum on inspections, in hopes that it would be rejected, thus justifying war. He proposed flying planes painted with UN colors where Iraqis might shoot them, in hopes of justifying war. Bush made no fewer than 55 knowingly misleading statements in public and misled Congress in his report three years ago this past Saturday about an imaginary threat to the United States from Iraq. The UN never did authorize a war. Inspections were moving ahead when Bush pulled the inspectors out in order to bomb the nation in an aggressive and fraudulent crime that has killed hundreds of thousands and left the rest of us in every way worse off. Here is documentation of Bush's dishonesty.

FOX's Carl Cameron asked Bush about impeachment: "At a time of war, what kind of a message does it send the terrorists for Democrats to talk about impeachment?"

Bush called such talk purely political, which is odd since Democratic political startegists are misguidedly advising against it, and it is only the few Democrats with spines (and political sense) who are talking about the need to do it for the good of the country.

Bush also dared Democrats to debate him on whether we should cancel the "terrorist surveillance program." As Bob Fertik points out on , "this is another outrageous lie, because there isn't a single Democrat - not one! - who has called for an end to terrorist surveillance as defined under the FISA law, which was written specifically to permit terrorist surveillance. The whole problem is that Bush is deliberately and openly breaking the FISA law to go beyond terrorist surveillance in order to spy on innocent American citizens!"

Categories: Blogs
From Roy:

One of the benefits of making fun of people who never learn anything is that you can go away for a long while and when you come back, they're still idiots.

In Jeff Goldstein's case, HE went away from a long time and when he came back he was an even bigger idiot.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

This is how scared the Republicans are of Cheney and Bush. What explains the Democrats' fear of opposing them?

Categories: Blogs
Where the hell did that come from?
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs