Monday, January 29, 2007

Schieffer takes a stand

Bob Schieffer is mad as hell and he's not going to take it any more. This is how he ended "Face the Nation" Sunday:
Schieffer: Can We Handle the Truth?

During the court martial scene in the movie "A Few Good Men," young Navy prosecutor Tom Cruise put Marine Colonel Jack Nicholson on the stand and demanded the truth.

Nicholson replied, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!"

A memorable line, but we are left to ask: Has the government concluded Nicholson's character was right, that Americans can't handle the truth?

As the war has grown worse, we have heard government spokesmen from the top on down tell us "Stuff happens," "Mission accomplished," "Enormous progress," "The good news is not reported."

We can't even get a straight story on how our troops die.

Last week, the Pentagon first reported that four Americans were killed in Iraq while repelling an enemy attack. Then on Friday we were told they had actually been kidnapped during a shootout and executed, two of them handcuffed and shot in the head.

In the hours after the killings, reporters who had pieced together the real story were told their version was inaccurate. The new Secretary of Defense claimed he was unaware of the new information an hour before it was announced.

The government argues that public criticism hurts the war effort, but it is being damaged much more by its own loss of credibility brought on by such incidents.

Truth is the foundation of democracy and Americans can handle the truth — they demand it. History shows that when they fail to get it, they no longer follow their leaders, no matter the cause. They are more likely to just change leaders.

I applaud Bob Schieffer's courageous stand. He is clearly outraged by this administration's casual dismissal of important values such as truth and human life.

Thank you for speaking up, Bob, and speaking truth to power. If more journalists had dared to challenge this arrogant administration, we might not now be debating our painful way out of the Iraq quagmire.

Never mind the rabid rightwing bloggers, ("You know, this is rediculous. Just rediculous. Bob", "Bob Schieffer, you are full fledged, flaming, card carrying liberal.") full speed ahead.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 27, 2007

In a word, no.

Today's NYT editorial:

We often wonder whether there is a limit to the Bush administration’s obsession with secrecy, its assault on the rule of law, its disdain for the powers of Congress, its willingness to con the public and its refusal to heed expert advice or recognize facts on the ground. Events of the past week suggest the answer is no.
Let me rephrase that: uh-uh.


While Rome burns

"The house is on fire and he's mowing the lawn."
--Terry Tamminen on Bush's nod to global climate change in the State of the Union address.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Can we sing it at ballparks?

Randy Newman proposes an anthem for our day:
A president once said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid
It’s patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
That’s what terror means, doesn’t it?
That’s what it used to mean

The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
We’re adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free
Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

Labels: ,

The Emperor's New Plan

All he is saying is give war a chance.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 19, 2007

What it is costing us

In his denunciation of the Vietnam War , Dr. King said,
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Art Buchwald

Too soon to say goodbye.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The madness of King George

Slate says:

The endgame in the war on terror isn't holding the line against terrorists. It's holding the line on hard-fought claims to absolutely limitless presidential authority.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Time to Break Silence

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Riverside Church, NYC 1967

Thursday, January 11, 2007

No Iraqi Left Behind

The NYT says:
Before Mr. Bush spoke, Americans knew he planned to send more troops to pacify lawless Baghdad. Mr. Bush’s task was to justify that escalation by acknowledging that there was no military solution to this war and outlining the political mission that the military would be serving. We were waiting for him to detail the specific milestones that he would set for the Iraqis, set clear timelines for when they would be expected to meet them, and explain what he intended to do if they again failed.

Instead, he said he had warned the Iraqis that if they didn’t come through, they would lose the faith of the American people. Has Mr. Bush really not noticed that the American people long ago lost faith in the Iraqi government — and in him as well? Americans know that this Iraqi government is captive to Shiite militias, with no interest in the unity, reconciliation and democracy that Mr. Bush says he wants.
In other words, we are going to reform Iraq the same way we reform the schools:

by setting up unrealistic and cynically imprecise benchmarks amid a lot of chest-thumping media play,

failing to provide the resources or leadership that effective reform requires,

and declaring “mission accomplished” without any assessment of actual progress or results.

There you go again, George.

Labels: ,

Edwards Obama 08

John Edwards and Barak Obama were on late night TV last night. Sounds like a ticket to me!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Acuity in time saves nine

Today's Doonesbury "Say what?"

"When Ford talked to Woodward, he was 91 years old, or 92 years old. My mother is 95. You know, I'm not sure I'd like to see some of her quotes published on the front page of The Post because I don't think she has the same mental acuteness she had when she was younger."
-- Ford White House press secretary Ron Nessen

Monday, January 08, 2007

Putting the surge in insurgency

“It may not be too late, but it’s five minutes to midnight.”
--John Burns, NYT Baghdad bureau chief, on Tavis Smiley


There's a gas-leak smell across the greater New York area, a sudden unexplained bird die-off in Austin, but this has to be the scariest wire story this morning:

Cheney Is Going Hunting Again Today

Published: January 8, 2007

Filed at 10:11 a.m. ET

LIGONIER, Pa. (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney was scheduled to be in western Pennsylvania Monday for a hunting trip.

Cheney was to fly into Arnold Palmer Regional Airport after his morning briefing in Washington, his spokeswoman, Lee Ann McBride, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Cheney will hunt at the private Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh, where he has hunted several times in recent years for pheasants and ducks.

Cheney will not make any public appearances, but will hunt with some companions that McBride declined to identify.

Last year, Cheney wounded attorney Harry Whittington with shotgun pellets during a quail hunting trip in Texas. Whittington recovered.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


"It's a success that hasn't occurred yet. I don't know that I view that as a failure."
-- Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend, on "failure" to capture Osama bin Laden
Wow, we're doing Osama's job for him. He must be pleased.

As for the other grave Bush threat, Barak Obama, I was pleased to see that the junior-grade Republicans on "Morning Edition" are scared enough to start dismissing him. Laura Sydell goes quite out of her way in a piece on the rumored Apple cell phone to compare it to Obama, "an unknown quantity" that Dems can invest with their fond hopes.

With two best-sellers, a distinguished academic career and a Senate seat, Obama is an "unknown quantity" if you can't read, I guess...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Enough already

Add another accomplishment to the Ford record: a 14-day funeral that didn't disrupt a single football game.