Thursday, April 17, 2008

Democrat Debate Debacle, Bush Thinks We're Stupid, McCain May Be, Diplomats Say No, Afghanistan Undermanned, Hedge Fund Fun & Right Wing Smears Obama.

Yeah, it looks like today's blog is going to mostly about clowns. Not the funny, ha ha clowns, the dangerous, WTF kind.
I guess the best place to start is with the Democrat debate, held in Philadelphia last night.
ABC put on the show and Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos provided the entertainment.
In what should have been a serious debate on the issues, Gibson and Stephanopoulos turned it into a Fox News watcher's wet dream.
Here's what a couple of real journalists had to say about the clowns from ABC.
Will Bunch of Attytood and the Philadelphia Daily News.
Dear Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos,

It's hard to know where to begin with this, less than an hour after you
signed off from your Democratic presidential debate here in my hometown of
Philadelphia, a televised train wreck that my friend and colleague Greg
Mitchell has already called, quite accurately, "a
shameful night for the U.S. media
." It's hard because -- like many other
Americans -- I am still angry at what I just witnesses, so angry that it's hard
to even type accurately because my hands are shaking. Look, I know that "media
criticism" -- especially when it's one journalist speaking to another -- tends
to be a genteel, colleagial thing, but there's no genteel way to say

your performance tonight -- your focus on issues that were at best trivial
wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing
falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the
real world concerns of American voters -- you disgraced my profession
of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who
do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us
the best deal on our capital gains taxes. But it's even worse than that. By so
badly botching arguably the most critical debate of such an important election,
in a time of both war and economic misery, you disgraced the American voters,
and in fact even disgraced democracy itself. Indeed, if I were a citizen of one
of those nations where America is seeking to "export democracy," and I had
watched the debate, I probably would have said, "no thank you." Because that was
no way to promote democracy.

Be sure to read all of Will Bunch's letter.
And Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher.

NEW YORK In perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a
major presidential debate in years, ABC News hosts Charles Gibson and George
Stephanopolous focused mainly on trivial issues as Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama faced off in Philadelphia.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care and mortgage crises, the
overall state of the economy and dozens of other pressing issues had to wait for
their few moments in the sun as Obama was pressed to explain his recent "bitter"
gaffe and relationship with Rev. Wright (seemingly a dead issue) and not wearing
a flag pin while Clinton had to answer again for her Bosnia trip exaggerations.

The media thinks we're all stupid. At best, they're only half right.
Oh, and George W. Bush thinks we're stupid too. Being, at best, half right far exceeds expectations for Bush though.
After his latest shenanigans, I've come to the conclusion that George Bush is
the first US president to march backwards. First we had weapons of mass
destruction. Then, when they proved to be a myth, Bush told us we had stopped
Saddam's "programmes" for weapons of mass destruction (which happened to be
another lie).

Now he's gone a stage further. After announcing victory in Iraq in 2003 and
"mission accomplished" and telling us how this enormous achievement would lead
the 21st century into a "shining age of human liberty", George Bush told us this
week that "thanks to the surge, we've renewed and revived the prospect of

John McCain either thinks we're stupid or else he's trying prove that he is.
Take his position on the new G.I. Bill.
Just a few days ago, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” John McCain talked
about the importance of increasing the size of the U.S. military. To entice more
volunteers, he said, the government should focus on
: “[O]ne of the things we ought to do is provide [the troops with]
significant educational benefits in return for serving.”

Naturally, then, McCain indicated a few days later that he’ll withhold
for a bipartisan measure to renew and expand the GI Bill for a new
generation of veterans.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would
greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill.

John McCain crapping on the troops. Something just doesn't seem right about that, does it?
What really seals the deal is McCain's plan to help out the working class, by cutting corporate income tax and a repeal of the alternative minimum tax. 93% of those benefiting from the repeal of the AMT make $200,000 or more. And since clowns are supposed to be funny, he wants to drop the federal tax on gasoline, for a few months, as a sop to the actual working class. A measure that would actually do more harm than good.

Sen. John McCain yesterday offered sweeping rhetoric about the
economic plight of working-class Americans, promising immediate assistance even
as he spelled out a tax and spending agenda whose benefits are aimed squarely at
spurring corporate growth.

In a speech billed as the most comprehensive
summary of McCain's economic vision to date, the candidate proposed to eliminate
the alternative minimum tax, slash corporate income tax rates and offer a grab
bag of other business breaks. His most direct proposal for relief to
working-class voters was a call to suspend the federal gasoline tax for the
summer driving season.

"The effect," he told an audience at Carnegie Mellon
University in Pittsburgh, "will be an immediate economic stimulus, taking a
few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer or
trucker stops to fill up."

Poor John's so out of touch that he thinks that we can afford to fill up.
The State Department sure enough has a clown running it. It seems that the State Department is having a hard time finding diplomats to staff it's offices in Iraq. Duh!

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that the State
Department is warning diplomats they may be forced to serve in Iraq next year
and will soon identify prime candidates for upcoming vacancies in Baghdad and
outlying provinces.

A cable sent to all foreign service officers says the department is
facing a looming crisis to fill about 300 jobs that will come open in 2009 in
Iraq and that it may not get enough qualified volunteers. If it doesn't, the
department will begin selecting diplomats for compulsory duty.

Needless to say, the diplomats were none too happy. And some made their feelings known. The Secretary of State responded.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that she had been
personally offended by the critical comments of some diplomats who questioned
the ethics of sending people against their will to a war zone. One diplomat,
during an October session held at the State Department to explain the policy to
employees, called the forced assignments a "potential death sentence" to loud

"I was deeply offended myself, and deeply sorry that these people who
had self-selected into this town hall went out of their way, to my view, cast a
very bad light on the foreign service," Rice told a House panel.

Fortunately, as Baldric would say, I have a cunning plan. Since the diplomats are needed for 2009 and the entire Bush Administration will be jobless and we know how much Republicans abhor public assistance, we can gainfully employ them all as diplomats in Iraq. I think that would make us all happy.
This is not funny, but I can assure you that there is a clown neck deep is it. Violence in Afghanistan is growing. The commander wants more troops, with good reason. Just 7,000 and he would be happy. Guess what? The cupboard is bare.
WASHINGTON – While America's attention remains focused on Iraq, violence is
escalating in Afghanistan, worrying senior U.S. defense officials and commanders
who are struggling to find some 7,000 more American and European troops to
combat resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
And just what are these troops fighting for? Well, partly for folks whose cupboards are anything but bare. Hedge fund managers.

Hedge fund managers, those masters of a secretive, sometimes volatile
financial universe, are making money on a scale that once seemed unimaginable,
even in Wall Street’s rarefied realms.

Their unprecedented and growing affluence underscores the gaping inequality
between the millions of Americans facing stagnating wages and rising home
foreclosures and an agile financial elite that seems to thrive in good times and
bad. Such profits may also prompt more calls for regulation of the

Since 1913, the United States witnessed only one other year of such unequal wealth distribution — 1928, the year before the stock market crashed, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Such inequality is likely to impede an economic recovery, he said.

Here's a bunch of big time clowns. Their current gig is trying to make Barack Obama out to be a Marxist for the Right Wing Propaganda Machine. They know their job and they do it well. But it looks like people would catch on since they're all using the same words. And that's not a coincidence.
Yesterday, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol claimed
that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) now-infamous “bitter
remarks were Marxist in nature. On Fox News’s Hannity And Colmes last night,
former Bush adviser Karl Rove echoed Kristol’s over-the-top characterization,
saying “it
was almost Marxian
Even before Obama’s poorly worded comments last week, many on the right have
been making a concerted effort to cast Obama as a socialist
and a Marxist.
For months
now, right-wing talker Glenn Beck, who also hosts a show on CNN Headline News,
has been referring to Obama as a “socialist“:
On Fox News Radio yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said that it was “a
good question
” to ask if Obama is “a Marxist,” though he said he would
“hesitate” to call him one himself.
UPDATE: As Newshounds notes,
Fox News’s Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer made similar charges on Fox’s
Special Report last night. Watch it:
At least these clowns don't think their listeners are stupid. They know it.
But that's at the high end of the Right Wing Propaganda Machine, for the Conservative Intellectual, if you will. I know it's an oxymoron. They also have a very effective low end (cheap) method of getting their message across to the super gullible.
I received an e-mail the other day. It's all over the right wing blogosphere now, just Google in '' What a Black Columnist has to say about Obama " and you'll see I speak the truth. I'm not going to post the whole thing, you can find that here, but here is the last part of it.
According to The Book of Revelations the anti-christ is: The anti-christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA?? I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media it!
It's sick and what's worse is that it's sad that there are people in this country that are so
apathetic and uninformed who will believe it.
Have a good Thursday.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)