Wednesday, September 19, 2007

La la lala, la la lala, Elmo's Song

While I'm not really a fan of the chickenhawk meme, I am a fan of good progressive songs... ...or funny progressive songs... or good, funny, progressive songs... I also like Weird Al style parodies...

Folks may find this to be one or more of those things, like I did...

Elmo was kind enough to drop off a link in the comments, but I think it deserves it's own post.

Elmo's "Blind in Texas" blog post: Y'all Chickenhawks to Me

Song: Y'all Chickenhawks to Me

I am War.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tasering dissent

Police state USA: Student assaulted and tasered by police for asking John Kerry the wrong question

Pro-war thuggery

And typically, they're proud of it.

Like the comment one person posted to the video yesterday (since removed, as any dissent from or discussion of the party line lends not to be tolerated in some circles), it's confusing strength with rightness. Getting physical with Code Pink protesters & damaging their property doesn't make you right about continuing the occupation. It only proves you're a thug who chooses not to be civil.

It's thinking like this (& Melanie Morgan, who ripped up a sign taken from a "moonbat" on stage with glee, and a few other leaders in their movement) that encourages & celebrates violence as a way of getting what they want, that leads us into these conflicts. It is often far more courageous to refuse the temptation to violence than to give into it.

Watch the video & decide for yourself whether we want this kinda thinkin' to have any influence over American foreign policy.

(As the poster of the vid is deleting any negative comments about it, I figured I'd bring them here, as I see them. Both sides deserve to be heard.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We're In Iraq To Stay - Driving Out The Snakes

"The furious debates about the various statistics and benchmarks ought to tell you something: no one knows whether we are winning or losing this war. And if no one knows, then it will likely never end." We're still "staying the course," riding an endless train to a destination that no one seems willing or able to put on a map.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Benchmarks? Who said anything about benchmarks?

It was the White House together with Iraq, and NOT the Congress, who first proposed the "to-do list" of benchmarks they're now dismissing, saying "to do lists are stupid, and don't measure the REAL progress, anyway." They're hoping you're forgetful or just not paying attention...

The CarpetBagger clarifies the issue.

read more | digg story is not the problem

"Whether the group's strategy was wise is certainly open to debate, but Republicans are making a mistake by overplaying their outrage." "If the right took coming up with a coherent Iraq policy half as seriously as they take some intemperate newspaper ad, the nation would be far better off."

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Coddling the terrorists

Maybe We <i>Should</i> Try Coddling The Terrorists

The Onion

Maybe We Should Try Coddling The Terrorists

I want to make myself clear, right from the get-go: I hate terrorism. Those of you who follow the Factor know that I have never been a fan....

There really just isn't enough snark in the world.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Anniversary

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Anniversary

Fine left-wing snark.

An excerpt wouldn't do it justice... Go read the whole thing.

The Surge

Monday, September 10, 2007

Burkean Truth

It all started with the post: Burkean Reflections: Antiwar Forces Paint Petraeus as Lying Traitor

As I've noted many times on this page, the hard left has become desperate in its attempts to discredit the administration, the military, and any other pro-victory contingents in American politics determined to see our efforts through. Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos has even put up a post telling Petraeus to f--- off.

Isn't that great? Leading antiwar forces have nothing remotely substantive to add to this debate, so they resort to name-calling, allegations of treason, and vulgar profanity. Remember though, we're not talking about fringe groups. Moulitsas himself has proclaimed many times that his movement is the future of the Democratic Party, and has become one of the party's biggest sources of unofficial "issue advertising" attacks

So, I followed the Kos link, really expecting to find Markos telling Petraeus to fuck off, like Donald said. (I didn't doubt it might be true... From what little I know of Markos, he does occasionally tell folks off in no uncertain terms.) Here's what I found:

by kos

Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 09:43:30 PM PDT

Six months. It's always six months.

(from NYT): The top American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, has recommended that decisions on the contentious issue of reducing the main body of the American troops in Iraq be put off for six months, American officials said Sunday.

And check out this graph. How many bets that Petraeus will show that one in his upcoming congressional testimony?

Update: After his congressional testimony, where will Petraeus go? Straight to Fox News for an "exclusive" one-hour interview, apparently to shore up the support of the dead-enders.

If he wanted to build credibility as a "serious" and "non-partisan" military leader, he'd have chosen legitimately non-partisan news outlets. But that's not what he is.

Nary a fuck anywhere in the post. Two references to six months, though... (Three, if you count the NYT quote.) ((& I suspect that Markos might've been trying to reference the line from Raiders of the Lost Ark : "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"))

So, I posted the following at Burkean:

Just a quick correction... The F.U. in Kos's post stands for Friedman Unit, that ubiquitous six month timeframe until "we find out...whether a decent outcome is possible" in the Iraq War. Thomas Friedman has been making these "six months more" predictions since 2003, and many others, particularly among those who support the occupation, have joined him in kicking the can just another six months (give or take) further down the road.
repsac3 | 09.10.07 - 12:09 pm | #

And Donald's reply:

Repsac3: No offense, but are you daft? FU stands for one thing for the majority of Americans who would see a post title like that. Of course it's a take on Friedman, but there's no doubt in my mind where Moulitisas would like Petraeus to stick his report.

These guys are the worst, and here you go defending this bull! I've said this many times in my exchanges with lefties, but this time takes the cake. Is there no low to which you'll stoop in defending the most vile activities and statments of the hard-left?
Donald Douglas | 09.10.07 - 1:59 pm | #

So then I says:

Of course it's a take on Friedman, but there's no doubt in my mind where Moulitisas would like Petraeus to stick his report.

In other words, you knew what he actually meant, but decided that he really would like to say FU (in the more offensive meaning) to Petraeus, so even though you knew his post refered to those Friedman Units, you made it seem otherwise in your post here...

That seems dishonest to me, Donald... You did nothing to correct the incorrect assumption of all those poor Americans who read Kos, but don't already know about FUs (I kinda doubt there are many. Those that read Kos've probably heard of FUs, and those that haven't heard of 'em probably don't read much Kos); in fact, you helped reenforce that misunderstanding... So much for truth...

Since when is clarifying the facts defending anyone? Both of us know that F.U. meant Friedman Unit. Seeing as how you knew what I said was true before you made the post, how is it "defending Kos" for me to say so? And why isn't it propaganda for you not to've said so in the original post?

(For the record, I actually thought you were making an honest error yourself, and would welcome the clarification, as you did when Tuggle corrected your Lincoln quote. I'm more disapponted to know you intentionally misunderstood, just to make your point.)

If telling the truth about what the guy actually wrote is stooping to any kinda low, you might want to rethink your relationship with the truth. No offense.
repsac3 | 09.10.07 - 2:31 pm | #

And Donald's rejoinder:

Repsac3: It doesn't matter what I knew. FU is FU, and you won't denounce it.

And you argue with me about truth? If Kos wanted to write a post about the "Friedman Unit" he should have. He's disgusting, and frankly, you're on the wrong side on this one.

Donald Douglas | 09.10.07 - 2:39 pm | #

I tried to reply at Burkean several times, but could not wrap my head around the fact that Donald knows he intentionally left the actual meaning of F.U. out of his post, and instead wrote about that which he read from the mind of Markos.

(Donald seems big on reading into "the intent of the poster (or author)," particularly when criticizing those with whom he disagrees. It isn't always what you actually write, but what Donald believes was in your head when you did so that counts.)

Donald admits he knew what Markos meant by titling his post F.U.. If there was any doubt, those three references to six months in the Kos post are a big clue. Donald just doesn't care, and doesn't think anyone else should, either. Like he says, "FU is FU," so even though he was able to understand it for what it actually meant--puting the lie to that "If he meant Friedman Unit, he should've said Friedman Unit" spin. Donald read & understood it, perfectly--it was his duty to pretend otherwise, and denounce Markos for something he didn't say.

I'm gobsmacked, because I really thought Donald was an honest broker for his position, and have said so to other lefties. (Hell, I've been linking to him on my blogroll, claiming he is a part of "the rational right.") While he generally is more polite than many of the other right wing bloggers I've spent time reading, some of his recent posts have called other aspects of his character into question.


UPDATE: As is my habit--I prefer not to talk about others behind their back, I let Donald know I posted this:

I don't suppose this'll go over well, but I'm stumped as to how to get through that kinda "FU is FU (no matter what I know)" logic...

Wingnuts & Moonbats: Burkean Truth

I look forward to your reply.

I hope he doesn't ban me, but I can't say as I'm sure he won't. I'm finding him unpredictable, of late...

Petraeus Wants Another Six Months Before Withdrawal Decision

Another Friedman Unit down, and another Friedman Unit in the making. Call back in six months, and maybe we'll have an answer then...

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The Myth of AQI - Andrew Tilghman

"Fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq is the last big argument for keeping U.S. troops in the country. But the military's estimation of the threat is alarmingly wrong." How did "a microscopic terrorist organization" become our reason for a continued occupation of Iraq?

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West Wing, Petraeus' shop 'hard-wired'

It isn’t exactly a big surprise that a Gillespie-run public-relations team in the White House would be fully integrated into Gen. Petraeus’ team, but it does reinforce what observers have known for quite a while now: Petraeus is a part of the president’s political operation. That’s not necessarily a criticism. It is, however, a realization that Petraeus’ testimony is not that of a neutral, dispassionate observer.

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The DC Establishment versus American public opinion

The majority of Americans have emphatically rejected the Beltway P.R. campaign of the last several months, and are as opposed more than ever before to the war. Perhaps most remarkably, in light of the bipartisan canonization rituals to which we have been subjected, a strong majority (53-39%) believes that Gen. Petreaus' report "will try to make things look better than they really are" (rather than "honestly reflect the situation in Iraq").

Glenn also reposts his prediction about what's going to happen when Bush/Petraeus dictate their report... from a post he made back in May.

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Petraeus/Bush: Report? What Report?

Balloon Juice

Just a brilliant post...

Oh, and for the record, here is my prediction for how the Congressional testimony will go:

1.) Petraeus will enter the room, and Joe Lieberman and several other moderate Democrats will faint when they see him in Class A’s with lots of ribbons and medals.

2.) Petraeus will offer a mixed report, citing temporary tactical advantage and listing points of progress. Lots of cheese charts with arrows pointing in the right direction, but little to no sourcing, will be on display.

3.) Lieberman, freshly revived from his initial fainting, hears Petraeus utter the words “our brave men and women in uniform,” and promptly passes out again.

4.) Petraeus mentions, in passing, that we are facing difficulties. Democrats fail to press him. The difficulties are not mentioned specifically, but in vague generalities.

5.) Petraeus states the situation is too tenuous to drawdown troops before fall of 2008.

6.) Lieberman is revived yet again, only to hear the phrase “Al Qaeda in Iraq,” and promptly falls to the ground in shock and horror. Ron Paul gives him the finger.

7.) Afterwards, numerous Blue Dog Democrats state to the media that the General was impressive, and has assured them that we are making progress, and, as such, they are reluctant to do anything.

8.) Republicans, when speaking to the press, state that this is clear proof we are winning, and evidence that we do not need to cut and run like some of the Democrats want.

9.) Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and John Warner all state how impressed they are, but note that they have some unspecfied concerns and that we need to proceed cautiously.

10.) Some cranky Democrat notes that there was no real information presented, and wants to have some hard data to compare to the numerous negative reports we have received from independent organizations. Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, NRO, and the Weekly Standard promptly call him a traitor. Malkin breaks out a cheerleader outfit. Michael O’Hanlon goes on Hardball and claims the GAO is the most corrupt organization in Washington.

11.) The rest of the media cover the story until about 7:45 EST, at which point it is learned that Lindsey Lohan may have smoked pot while in rehab. The Petraeus story dies.

12.) Seven more members of the military die.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

GOP Strategy 101: Identify the obstacle, smear the obstacle

"The new report from the Government Accountability Office is obviously a thorn in the side of the Bush administration and supporters of its Iraq policy." So, true to form, the Republicans are attacking the GAO report and moving the goalposts, rather than addressing the problems listed in the report. Typical.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

National Review's new tough guy, Mark Hemingway

From Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, along with our brave neoconservative warmongers -- to say nothing of the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- it is virtually impossible to locate genuine acts of strength, bravery, regular-guy wholesomeness, or any of the warrior attributes and virtues of traditional masculinity they claim to exude.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Thomas Sowell offers superb Exhibit of the Right-wing Mind

Espousing two blatantly contradictory ideas at once, often in the same speeches or articles, is a common device among those devoted to authority.

read more | digg story