Friday, February 29, 2008
“I realized that I couldn’t be at home without a Taser,” she said. “It becomes something similar to your cell phone. If I leave the house without it, I go into panic mode. It’s that safety blanket.”
This one was thrown in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Fun fact about Fairfield: it's the fifth-wealthiest county (per capita) in America.
No doubt Tasers come in handy when Fairfield's women are confronted by menaces as horrifying as a 2003 Michael Kors clutch, un-pedicured toes, and arrivistes from Westchester.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Thousands of members of neighborhood police units have stopped work in one of Iraq's most dangerous provinces, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said on Friday.
The mainly Sunni Arab units, widely known as concerned local citizens, or "CLCs," said they had disbanded altogether which would represent a major blow to U.S. and Iraqi efforts to pacify Diyala province.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"Ah ain't never heard me of no $4 dollar a gallon gas. That's ridiculous, those stories come from the ridiculousaters"
Meawhile, in reality:
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
And also meanwhile...
Oil prices surpassed $103 a barrel for the first time Friday as persistent weakness in the U.S. dollar and the prospect of lower interest rates attracted fresh money to the oil market.
Prices were supported by comments Thursday from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the American economy is not immediately threatened with stagflation, a combination of economic weakness and rising inflation.
For anyone that discloses the Bush is violating international treaties or the civil rights of Americans themselves, it is treason.
Not that you'll see this pointed out anywhere but on the internet.
I guess that's what it means to rock Mark Halperin's world.
Yes, ewww is te right reaction.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The head of Iraq's biggest journalist organization died on Wednesday, colleagues said, four days after being seriously wounded by gunmen who opened fire on his car in Baghdad.
Shihab al-Tamimi, 74, was an independent journalist working for many local newspapers. He was known for his outspoken views against the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the continued presence of U.S. troops on Iraqi soil.
He was also a stern critic of Iraq's sectarian violence.
"Shihab al-Tamimi died ... in hospital after being shot on Saturday," said Jabbar Tarrad, Tamimi's deputy at the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had ordered that Tamimi be flown to Amman in Jordan for treatment, but doctors said he was too ill for the flight, another syndicate official said. Tamimi was shot in the face, chest and shoulder when gunmen opened fire on his car, relatives and colleagues said.
The New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the Iraq war the deadliest conflict for journalists in recent history, with 126 journalists and 50 support workers killed since 2003. That figure does not include Tamimi. The CPJ said on its Web site that 32 journalists were killed in Iraq in 2007 alone. It had one recorded death so far for 2008, an Iraqi cameraman killed in a roadside bomb north of Baghdad in January.
Yes, its working just fine, right?
Linda Greenhouse, who has covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for 30 years, said Wednesday that she has accepted a buyout package from the newspaper.
Greenhouse joined the Times in 1968 and started covering the court in 1978, making her career there longer than any of the current justices except John Paul Stevens, who came on in 1975.
So is this good or bad for NYT coverage of the Supremes?
A historically conservative, white Afrikaans-speaking campus in South Africa is in an uproar this week after a video circulated online of black, female cleaning-staff members being subjected to degrading treatment by four white male students.
The video comes at a time when the University of the Free State, in Bloemfontein, has been grappling with racial integration in student dormitories.
In the video, which appeared Tuesday, the students are shown preparing a concoction of what looks like dog food and garlic, then urinating into the mixture and serving it to the apparently unknowing women, who are kneeling on the ground, as part of an "initiation" rite. The video ends with one of the students commenting, in Afrikaans: "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."
Meet the new South Afrikaner college student...
"...[A]s long as McCarthyism fixes its goal with its present precision, it is a movement around which men of goodwill and stern morality can close ranks."
--William F. Buckley, 1954
Sorry, Bill: you were wrong (neither for the first nor the last time). Men of goodwill and morality (stern and otherwise) disagreed; and not only becaise your condition precedent was synonymous with "demented pipe dream." Credit where credit is due, though: you seem to have at least anticipated the Coulters you'd unleash on the rest of us. Too bad you never did a damn thing to discourage them. Thanks for that.
By the way, people: the NYT published its original reviews of God and Man at Yale and Up From Liberalism yesterday. They're fascinating little time capsules. It's amazing how little the Conservative schtick has changed since the 1950s. Or is it?
"Hello, Hello, Hello, How low? With the Lights out, It's less dangerous, here we are now, entertain us, I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now entertain us"
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
And later, don't miss Cindy McCain's musical salute to Liz Phair!
"You act like you're fourteen years old, Everything you say is so, Obnoxious, funny, rude and mean, I want to be your..."
Not only did they "conveniently lose" all those emails.
Condi lost her "Nobody could have anticipated" macro.
Iraq's three-man presidency council Wednesday announced that it's vetoed legislation that U.S. officials two weeks ago hailed as significant political progress...
Cue the Michael O'Hanlon fainting couch.
The rejected bill, which sets out the political structure for Iraq's provincial governments and establishes a basis for elections in October, was only the second of 18 U.S.-set political benchmarks that the war-tore nation needs to reach.
Parliament considered it in a bundle with two other bills, a general amnesty and a budget, and approved it on Feb. 12 in what was welcomed in Washington as an example of good government, compromise and progress toward national unity.
Now the question is whether parliament is willing to revise the measure.
"It was a package deal. Now that package is broken," said Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq expert at the International Crisis Group in Amman, Jordan.
One cannot misunderestimate the importance of the appearance of a "package" to the Bush Administration.
Dammit, that progress was reported?
Who besides the generally reliable McClatchy will report the evaporation?
Not only is Iraq an non-winning, murderous clusterfuck, it's a financially ruinous disastrous clusterfuck.
A complete unmitigated disaster.
When McCain starts saying Obama wants the wave the white flag, it's not only preposterous strategically, even if it were true we could not afford the white flags.
When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration predicted that the war would be self-financing and that rebuilding the nation would cost less than $2 billion.
Coming up on the fifth anniversary of the invasion, a Nobel laureate now estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing America more than $3 trillion...
The book, co-authored with Harvard University professor Linda Bilmes, builds on previous research that was published in January 2006. The two argued then and now that the cost to America of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is wildly underestimated.
When other factors are added — such as interest on debt, future borrowing for war expenses, the cost of a continued military presence in Iraq and lifetime health-care and counseling for veterans — they think that the wars' costs range from $5 trillion to $7 trillion.
"I think we really have learned that the long-term costs of taking care of the wounded and injured in this war and the long-term costs of rebuilding the military to its previous strength is going to far eclipse the cost of waging this war," Bilmes said in an interview.
The book and its estimates are the subject of a hearing Thursday by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
Naturally, this leads the Bush Administration to proclaim a Nobel Prize winning economist is nothing but a traitorous, lilly-livered, terrorist-lover:
"People like Joe Stiglitz lack the courage to consider the cost of doing nothing and the cost of failure. One can't even begin to put a price tag on the cost to this nation of the attacks of 9-11," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto, conceding that the costs of the war on terrorism are high while questioning the premise of Stiglitz's research.
"It is also an investment in the future safety and security of Americans and our vital national interests. $3 trillion? What price does Joe Stiglitz put on attacks on the homeland that have already been prevented? Or doesn't his slide rule work that way?"
Jeebus, why not just do the ol' "I'm rubber and you're glue" Tony? Thanks for not answering.
I look forward to John McCain NOT being asked about this by Michael Scherer and the rest of his harem of press agents.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I can only offer one person's perspective. Anyway, here it is...
It is interesting, I have avoided the usual political smearing -- my candidate is bigger than your candidate garbage --that is happening here in Ohio. Oh yes, we get the flyers (when did these things have to become laminated), the phone calls, the reporters covering important policy issues like crowd size and enthusiasm. Forget what they say (or not). Who has the posters and signs? Where are they? And let's not forget the only question that matters to the TeeVee crowd... how big are the crowds? Ah the media, avoiding their job as they always do.
Alright, local news coverage... Wow, Obama has some rocking music in his commercials. He has mastered the art of the upbeat campaign commercial. You watch it, you smile. Hillary Clinton wants to show us how hard she works. Um, not very inspiring. I already work too hard. Why do I want to see her sitting at her desk at night? How is that going to inspire me? I already assume she works hard.
Crowd size in Ohio. McCain drawing very small crowds, not much bigger than Huck's gaggle. Doesn't that seem odd to anyone? But the story here is clear: Obama is drawing huge crowds. And the people are excited. Really, truly excited. They will go out and vote on Tuesday. Maybe crowd size does tell us something about general interest, but does it tell us what people will do -- how deep is their support for a candidate?
So we must acknowledge that a rally is more than mere crowd size (sorry, Faux Newz). What's the interaction? What is the candidate saying? Obama seems to be talking more specifics and vision. He is clearly demonstrating some command of the issues. And now that we see McCain for the wee Bush wanna be and Obama's willingness to show him the door, Obama's very large crowds are only going to get bigger and more enthusiastic. Not good for any of his rivals, especially the Republican ones. Aw, too bad (should there be more sarcasm here?)!
It is interesting living in Ohio. At least politically, right now. I drive around several main roads, interstate highways, and cities... and I do not see signs for McCain or Huckabeegee. The signs here are for Ron Paul. Yup, RP has the interstate, several city streets, and county roads all sown up. Whatever good that will do him.
Obama posters and signs though are going up. All over. I wonder what that means?
“I always say that Nashville Star saved me from five more years in the honky-tonks. But I was still scared to death to sign that recording contract. I was afraid they’d change me. I was worried they’d take my songs that didn’t sound like anyone else’s and produce them just like the next record down the street. I did not want it to be the typical Nashville record. I have my own
style. I want to be my own person. There are a million blonde chicks who can sing. I’ve always wanted to be different. We had a meeting. All the Sony people were there. I sat down at the head of the table, crossed my hands and said, ‘OK, this is who I am.’ And I just laid it out. ‘I’m from Texas. I write my own stuff. I have something to say. I’ll never dance around on stage in a
halter-top. I will always play my guitar. Now, if I can’t make a record that reflects me honestly, I’d rather just go home and play in Texas like I was. So please tell me now if you’re going to be bossing me around.’”
She said Sony told her, “You go make your record,” and left her alone.
“I don’t want my music to be taken as something you just hum along with. No matter what I’m singing, I want to say something that makes people think. I want people to hear my songs and feel something. I want to be appreciated as someone whose music is real. I want to be thought of as a true artist, not just as an ‘entertainer.’”
He was a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a red baiter, and in Gore Vidal's words a "cryptofascist".*
And yet, compared to the people who took over his masthead, all class.
The Funeral will be scheduled as follows:
Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Private Viewing
Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public Viewing
Saturday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Peggy Noonan Displaying (and rutting)
*He did moderate and admit error on some of these things later in life...after he'd been demolished on them. At least the guy could admit error, albeit belatedly -- puts him one up on his succeeding generation.
A majority of Israelis think their government should hold talks with Hamas for a cease-fire in Gaza and the release of a captured soldier, according to a poll in a leading Israeli newspaper Wednesday.
The poll, published in the liberal newspaper Haaretz, found 64 percent of Israelis in favor of a dialog with the Islamist movement.
Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, and is considered a terrorist organization by the West.
Until recently, the Israeli public had opposed such talks, the newspaper said.
But more importantly before I could do so.
*Just play along, my family will tell you it is best to just do so.
In a major victory for Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his party, a Democratic assemblyman won a stunning upset in a State Senate election on Tuesday in a district that has been in Republican hands for a century.That's five pieces of great news in two short paragraphs: (1) Spitzy wins; (2) Democratic upset (although The Albany Project says it doesn't really qualify as an upset); (3) 100+ year Republican district goes Dem; (4) Republican majority reduced to one; (5) Bruno under pressure.
The win reduces the Republicans’ majority to one seat and will intensify pressure on the majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, as he tries to maintain his party’s grip on the Senate, which it has controlled for more than 40 years.
I like No. 5 best. Upstate New York is not NYC, people. It's Wingnuttia. And Joe Bruno is its king. He's one of Albany's "Three Men in a Room," two of whom have had had a stranglehold on on New York politics for way too long. I doubt that Bruno's going to have an enjoyable election day this November. About time. Now if the city could just do its part and send Sheldon Silver packing.
Check it out about 2:08
Like to play that insipid "gotcha" game with Russert where we hold up his various platitudinous statements about journalism...
Followed by clips of transcripts of statements of this:
Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."
"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format."
But he is, of course, a man of blue collar roots...just let him tell you in a completely inappropriate forum.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The truth is that political reconciliation in Iraq is going better there than it is here at home because of better security.
622 dead Iraqis in political violence this month and climbing. That's the equivalent of 6,000 Americans killed in political violence in one month. Deaths have spiked in February -- not that you've heard about it from the media.
1. I don't recall the Capital complex in D.C. being shelled the last 192 years. The Green Zone is shelled regularly.
2. I don't recall Canada invading us since the War of 1812, that's happening repeatedly on Iraq's Northern Border.
3. I don't recall all of us waiting with baited breath over whether Nancy Pelosi was going to call off a cease-fire.
4. I don't recall us paying off Protestants lately not to kill Catholics, as we're doing with Sunni insurgents.
5. I don't recall us being completely propped up by Mexicans lately (though Lou Dobbs may differ)
And those are just the first things that come to mind
Well, at least they don't have to falsely claim someone's a Muslim Lindsay so there's that.
But, again, it appears that I'm about as qualified as most of the blogs that claim experience in this stuff -- as are most of you.
It's quite clear now, whether it's me...the admitted non-professional analyst or the self-proclaimed professional tea leaf readers we all spew bullshit about equally on the "qualitative side".
But, admittedly, I'm severely lacking in the pure, unadulterated amount of bullshit that gets spewed by the self-proclaimers.
I'm not owed $2 million or more for my expertise (in fact, I'm pretty confident I owe people pain & suffering for my services here) but I think it's fair to sum up the Democratic Primary Campaign Thusly:
-- Two evenly matched candidates that people generally feel favorably disposed toward will see the person who goes the most negative suffer.
-- If you are the candidate with higher negatives in an intraparty struggle, you should try to avoid going overtly negative.
-- Don't treat your opponent with contempt -- and that goes double for your highly paid, and purportedly skilled campaign staff.
-- Politely slapping down attacks quickly -- but being polite about it -- will always trump faux anger.
-- A good organization matched with a charismatic candidate is one hell of a force to be dealt with.
-- Change is a powerful force
-- Stay out of a land war in Asia
President Bush predicted Monday that voters will replace him with a Republican president who will "keep up the fight" in Iraq. "I'm confident we'll hold the White House in 2008," Bush told donors at the Republican Governors Association annual dinner, which raised a record $10.6 million for GOP gubernatorial candidates.
Bush is always confident and perpetually "not anticipating".
Picture from what Bush undoubtedly described as a "White House Round Table Discussion".
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Monday, February 25, 2008
"He's just a great guy. I had to kiss someone. I kissed my wife, and in the interest of parity, I kissed George." ... He chose the Michael Clayton actor because "George has been there for me"...(Adding that in the Italian-American family in which I was raised, males would kiss each other "Hello" or "Goodbye" and not give it a second thought. It's nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis give George Clooney a friendly peck on the cheek at an emotional moment in front of zillions of people. Time to grow the hell up, America.)
Photo: Associated Press
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise... um, no not really. Is anyone out there shocked by this??? That's what I thought.
He has a link to view the story for those of you who missed it.
And here is something that in a "fair & balanced" world would kick this story up another notch:
Off the Air in Alabama
I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama—from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down—that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” I was told that the decision to blacken screens across Northern Alabama “could only have been an editorial call.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Oak Hill Partners represents interests of the Bass family, which contribute heavily to the Republican Party. Viewers displeased about the channel’s decision to censor the broadcast should express their views directly to the station management or to the owners.
Email or circulate this link as much as you can.
I'm here at home watching probably my favorite show (and clearly my dog's favorite) 'Sunrise Earth'.
They are in Costa Rica this morning.
What happened to their patriotism?
I mean, clearly the right-wing bloggers and CNN & MSNBC, and, of course, Nedra Pickler have demonstrated that this is very treasonous.
No matter what science and the secular humanist factoratis tell you.
Yep, another fuck up:
Six years after the US and Britain "freed" Afghan women from the oppressive Taliban regime, a new report proves that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases.
Projects started in the optimistic days of 2002 have begun to wane as the UK and its Nato allies fail to treat women's rights as a priority, workers in the country insist...
...Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages.
Girls as young as six are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation – burning themselves to death – or severe self-harm.
Honestly, if there is anything that is going to unleash an unholy torrent of swearing and invective against right-wing lunatics its this slander about someone's patriotism. Especially the patriotism of the empty gesture. So pardon me with this more reserved...
FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKS!
It's all they're going to have against Obama...and of course, they'll find a way to slander Clinton's patriotism too if necessary -- even if via an unholy and traitorous pantsuit.
But let's just lay this out on the table and what they really mean...as Bill Kristol goes and implies today by adding Michelle Obama. Black people just aren't as patriotic as whites -- is what they mean to say. It's another non-racial way to go after the black guy.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Once upon a time, there was a myth upon the land.
This story was laid that there would come a television show borrowed from the realm of Britannia where great music talent was going overlooked. Overlooked and unappreciated because the mighty corporate behemoths locked away in their best last defense against the great stain of evil brought by the many unwashed college students blighting the land with their demands for digital downloads.
The need for a show that would bring the great unknown talent forth was heard and American Idol was sprung upon the land. "Yea is good," sayeth the Fox masterminds, this show will shower us with popularity and advertising dollars. It will also bring great new talent forth and in cooperation with the production company, Clive Davis, and once famous musicians... many riches shall spring forth.
New undiscovered talent will be given the fairest of chances to delight an audience of Americans. And in so doing, new talent, television, music, and all will be delighted and enriched.
Bullshit. It is all unmitigated bullshit. (apologies to the kids, but the myth of American Idol is revealed in absolute stark terms this season for all to see, if we just open our eyes to it)
We all know the myth: American Idol is supposed to be a show about giving the unknown and undiscovered singers, wannabes, and the occasional musician a fair chance to be heard by millions of Americans. With the tantalizing offer of a record contract, professional development, promotion, opportunities to appear on television in front of a large audience (and I am sure much more).
As Lyndsey Parker, makes all to clear on her Reality Rocks blog, it is all untrue. The myth is nothing more than an illusion. The hopefuls this year are not undiscovered at all. Several of them have had records released, been signed to record labels, been in popular regional bands. The illusion that new and imaginative or just simply plain old undiscovered talent is being uncovered by American Idol is false!
In fact, some of the most popular "singers" thus far in the "competition" are distorting and misrepresenting their backgrounds. Some of them are scrubbing and cleaning the Internet of past information about themselves and their careers. Several competitors who did not get to "Hollywood" were actually undiscovered but repeatedly these individuals were cast aside for folks who already had records, contracts to record, toured, made videos, and more... and in some cases all too close relationships with the production company that runs American Idol with an iron hand. And perhaps, iron ears.
As Parker points out: Undiscovered apparently does not mean the same thing to those us outside of FOX and American Idol:
As in, artists who have not had record deals yet. Artists who need a show like this to GET a record deal in the first place. Artists who have not already had major labels waste millions of dollars unsuccessfully trying to mold them into next big things.
What's my point? Well, last night the visa-challenged Irish artist formerly known as Carly Hennessy--but now conveniently going under her new married name, Carly Smithson--made it into American Idol's top 24, despite having had a flop album out on MCA Records nearly seven years ago. An album that sold only hundreds of copies, despite the fact that MCA spent millions of dollars trying to promote it.
It gets better when Parker describes Hennessy's career:
"Ultimate High was released in stores nationwide three months ago. So far, it has sold only 378 copies--amounting to about $4,900 at its suggested retail price....The story of MCA and Ms. Hennessy shows the dysfunctional economics of the music industry at work. MCA, one of Universal Music's major labels, initially hooked up with the spunky teenager three years ago because it was trying to get a piece of the great success competitors enjoyed with young pop artists like Britney Spears and 'N Sync. Ms. Hennessy, a native of Dublin, had released her debut musical effort, Carly's Christmas Album, in Ireland at age 10, after performing all over Europe as Little Cosette in Les Miserables. At 13, she was named the Irish national spokesmodel for the Denny sausage brand. Soon, she and her family began hoping for much more, and Ms. Hennessy dropped out of high school....
Does this sound like an undiscovered singer to anyone? Anyone?
You can check out her videos on YouTube.
It even gets better.
As the folks at Vote for the Worst makes clear, Carly Hennessy is not the only American Idol contestant with industry connections and actual careers:
Thanks to sources like JoesPlace, Vote for the Worst has been checking out the contestants who have allegedly made it to the top 24 of American Idol 7 and there's a disturbing trend. To try to combat Sanjaya fever from last year, American Idol producers have gone out of their way to place people into the top 24 who already had a shot at stardom in the past.
It seems like a good idea at first- they’re stacking the deck with professionals to try to prevent a Vote for the Worst takeover. But then you realize- if these people didn’t make it big before, it’s highly unlikely that people will care any more about them now. And if all of these people with industry connections made it to the top 50, what about the average Joes who are looking for their shot at stardom? Were they just cast aside this year to make way for the plants?
It’s likely that if you tried out for the show and failed, or if a friend with an amazing voice tried out and was turned away, it was to make room for the established professionals. This is not to say that these ringers are any less deserving of stardom, or any less decent or nice, but that the days of everyday people becoming the next American Idol are over.
The days of the myth -- if anyone really believed them -- are over. American Idol is a sham. Tell it to all of your friends around the water cooler who want to talk about how cool American Idol is or how it really is a "contest" among "unknowns." Let everyone know it is not real, perhaps never has been in the first place. One has to wonder if this is false advertising? But in the end all of the created excitement and purpose of the show...
'Tis a lie.
Meanwhile, a different kind of propaganda war was being waged on the streets. __________ has relatively conservative attitudes toward homosexuality, and all autumn long __________ was blanketed with tens of thousands of leaflets saying that Mr. _______'s liberal, pro-__________ opposition party, the __________, ardently favored gay rights and employed canvassers with AIDS. Neither was true.Then read the article from which the above is excerpted and ponder who is aping whose techniques.
The leaflets often included the name and phone number of a leader of the party’s regional candidate slate, __________. Some had condoms attached and announced offers to send supporters to a gay-pride event in __________....
The party was refused advertising space on everything from billboards to newspapers to television. When Mr. __________ tried to campaign in __________ in the fall, no one would rent him a hall. In November, the party headquarters were ransacked and spray-painted with profanities and graffiti that called it the “Party of Gays.”
Turkey's military said Sunday that eight more soldiers were killed in combat during its cross-border ground operation in northern Iraq, raising the death toll to 15.
The military said in a statement posted on its Web site that a helicopter also went down on the Turkish-Iraqi border for unknown reasons. Earlier, Kurdish rebels has said they shot down a Turkish military helicopter near the Turkish border.
A suicide bomber struck Shiite pilgrims as they were resting Sunday during a days-long walk to a Shiite shrine, killing at least 25 people and wounding 35.
The attack in Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad, was the second of the day against pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala. The pilgrimage marks Arbaeen, the 40th day following the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, one of two revered Shiite figures buried there.
The suicide bomber detonated at a tent where pilgrims stop to eat and drink, police said.
Earlier, extremists attacked another group of pilgrims in the predominantly Sunni Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, killing three and wounding 36, police said.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Because she is smart.
Yes, I have been wondering this question for quite some time: Why do people hate Hillary Clinton?. What is it about her that motivates so many -- and not just the usual nut wing crowd -- to dislike her?
In offices all around this country, people enjoy the BS Bob and Tom Redneck attacks on Senator Clinton. Need a new leader in Cuba? Send Hillary. Or at least so goes an awful joke on the syndicated Bob and Tom radio show. Of course, my GOD! This Bob and Tom stuff is idiocy on a high level (trying really hard to be charitable!!)
While having a conversation with Rising Hegemon pal, Mysteria, we were both bothered by people who seem to hate Bill and Hillary Clinton with an intensity that is normally saved for life decisions. Yet these yahoos embrace the absolute inarticulate idiocy of George W. Bush.
We just don't get it. Why do people hate -- not simply dislike -- but hate her. We came to the conclusion that it is because she is smart, articulate, accomplished. She knows facts and figures. She is a policy wonk. Yes, in the end, people hate Hillary for the same reason that they distrust intellectuals, professors, writers, and other thinkers: the fact that they think at all.
In this political season, where lying is part of being the Republican candidate for president - we see that music reviewers bend and distort the truth to serve their purposes as well.
DrJ of the SchoolofRock Blog and Internet radio show -- in the interest of disclosure several of us from this blog call in to that show -- points out the hypocrisy in a Maxim review of the soon to be released new Black Crowes record. A review that is based on never hearing the record. Not one note. I may not be a paid music reviewer, Atta J. Turk runs a tight ship don't you know, but even I only write about music that I have heard. Otherwise, how would you know what it sounds like?
Consortiumnews.com is also seeing -- and calling -- John "straight talk" McCain what he is -- a lie and a cheat.
While McCheat may have for the moment fended off the cacophony of allegations and suspicions that he had an affair with a lobbyist to whom he had been quite close. Apparently way too close. One has to wonder if this is what caused Cindy's problems with the pills?
But McCheat's bleating blanket denials about doing favors for the clients of the lobbyist, Iseman, are being proven to be lies. Yes, we can all hear it now, right? "My friends the actions I took were not favors, I was simply doing my job!" Yes, but who's work were you doing there McCheat?
The evidence keeps mounting that the nearly ticket in hand presumptive Rethglican presidential nominee does not deserve his reputation and accolades given to him by the mainstream media as a reformer or a straight-talker.
Hmmm... reminds me of a song: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
[imagine and insert several compound and occasionally irregular profane statements and swear words] Damn it, damn it, damn it... damn it! I am way past this homophobic you are not like us so we have to hurt you bullshit!
When is this county going to get past this crap?
Muqtada al-Sadr extended his freeze on militia activities of the Mahdi Army through August.
Since the US is finishing off his hard line Sunni Arab enemies for him, and is restoring discipline to the Sadr Movement by arresting rogue elements not loyal to Muqtada, it is hard to see what the down side is for him in accepting to renew the Mahdi Army freeze.
Friday, February 22, 2008
The self described enemy of lobbyists and special interests defends his close relationship with them, including having several lobbyists as close campaign advisors.
Sen. John McCain said Friday that while lobbyists serve as close advisers to his presidential campaign, they are honorable and he is not influenced by corruption in the system.
McCain, who has styled himself as an enemy of special interests, defended having lobbyists working for his campaign. He is the expected Republican presidential nominee.
"These people have honorable records, and they're honorable people, and I'm proud to have them as part of my team," McCain told reporters following a town hall meeting in Indianapolis.
So, which is it McCheat? Are you a friend to lobbyists or are you against special interests? Because you cannot be both.
I, for one, await your response.
Oh dear reader, decency, delicacy, and a general gagging reflex simply prevents us from repeating many of the details and medical particulars here, but Mr. Pharmboy includes such details as “smell burning flesh from cauterization” and “total elapsed time from prep to finish: 20:48.”
Is this a blog entry gone too far?
White House photo by Eric Draper
SNUGGLER of Kathryn Harris...from June 2005 and the vaults.
One-time Tammy Faye Baker impersonator, Katherine Harris announced that she is running for Senate in Florida, challenging Bill Nelson. I know the GOP feels a debt to Harris. She was important in putting our Chimperor and Savior into the White House in 2000. This gives her a lot of clout in the party. Enough clout by the way, for the married Harris to snuggle up on the House floor with married fellow Republican Arizona's Rick Renzi. I imagine video of their "political bukkake" tape will be in high demand in Florida next year:
Whispering and putting her hand in unknown places...
Checking out "Mr. Happy"
Renzi, undoubtedly talking about his wife and twelve children and her marriage.
Discussing whether there are other "boxes" to stuff besides ballot boxes.
Thanks to Kos commenter, Randym77.
I believe you can still get the full video here as a bit torrent.
Sadly, the University of Colorado has just made an unspeakable mistake in appointing a highly partisan global warming denying oil executive Bruce Benson as president of the university. Benson has no real qualifications for the position. He’s less educated than 99% of the college presidents in America -- Benson only has a BA and no previous experience with higher education -- and has a track record of attacking the very foundations of higher education, tenure and academic freedom.
Most of his "qualifications" appear to arise from three things: being an executive, successful fundraiser for right wing causes, and name recognition from a failed effort to become governor in Colorado.
Benson's allies are on the far right. He is aligned with the ACTA which is involved in efforts to help CEOs and Business leaders become high placed academic administrators. He was a co-founder of the Trailhead group whose sole purpose appears to be attacking Democrats and Progressive political candidates. His friends and associates include the likes of David Horowitz and Pete Coors.
His ultimate goal seems pretty clearly to replace critical thinking in education with training from a corporate point of view.
Fits in perfectly with a BushCheneyMcCheat world, doesn't it?
Who does Usama bin Laden want to be the next president? More people think the terrorist leader wants Obama to win (30 percent) than think he wants Clinton (22 percent) or McCain (10 percent). Another 18 percent says it doesn’t matter to bin Laden and 20 percent are unsure
I fail to see how bin Laden wouldn't want the highly effective (for Al Qaeda) policies of the Bush Administration -- invading where he isn't -- and avoiding where he is [the McCain policy] to continue.
But, one thing is certain, FoxNews remains as classy as ever.
As many of us now know, John "My Friends" McCain, has violated federal elections law by using possible public financing as collateral for loans (directly and indirectly).
The NYT have at least demonstrated that the focus on ethics is a lie. Of course, in the Bush era - ethics are whatever someone says, not what they do. NPR has reported on the story of McCain breaking federal campaign finance laws yesterday - and it is worth reading - since he is constantly mentioning his supposed efforts to reform campaign finance laws:
What is not so straight forward is McCain's own stance. He rejected public funds for the primaries. Just like Obama and Clinton, he did not want to get trapped in a system that provided taxpayer funds, but restricted total spending to $50 million — all the way to the conventions.
Then, McCain's campaign fell on hard times. He applied for the primary-season matching funds. The Federal Election Commission approved the application, but McCain never cashed in his certificates.
Instead, McCain went to a bank and received a line of credit. As Potter notes, McCain did not put up the public-financing certificates as collateral.
But then the McCain campaign renegotiated for a bigger line of credit. The loan documents said that if McCain lost the New Hampshire primary and finished more than 10 points behind the winner, then he would have to stay in the race and reapply for public funds, which would become the new collateral.
Lawyer Cleta Mitchell has long criticized McCain's role in overhauling campaign-finance laws. Pointing to the terms of the loan, she accuses McCain of gaming the system.
"They got another million dollars with, really, no additional collateral, other than a promise that if he didn't do well, they'd go get it from the federal government," Mitchell says.
And what will the mainstream do with this story? Will they ask the hard questions? Will they point out that so-called straight talk maverick is as dirty as they come? Will they acknowledge that McCain is playing the system? Probably not.
And while nothing will come of the obvious corruption and lies because the Federal Elections Commission is not fully staffed due to Rethuglican efforts to staff it with their cronies. We need to remember that McCain is not the person he pretends to be. And perhaps, never has been. After all he was a member of the infamous Keating Five.
We must now christen him, McCheat.
Again and again, we see that the straight-talk express is rolling through the same muck as all of the other Republican crooks and liars. McCheat is part of the same lying, cheating, anything to win and do what I want crowd that we have had for the past eight years (and possibly longer if you look past the Clinton years).
McCheat's new slogan: Lying talk since 1989!
Can we start calling her "Bonesaw"?
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas - especially if you're the wife of a presidential candidate. Just ask Janet Huckabee, who attended a middleweight prize fight this past weekend in Las Vegas - where she stayed at the Hooters Casino Hotel.
Shockingly, she was NOT a participant in the match...nor, thank goodness, was she a Hooters' waitress [and really when is Hooters just going topless?]
[I apologize in advance]
Next up for Janet Huckabee, attending a cock fight, I hear they taste like chicken. I've emailed Larry Craig about this but I never hear back from him.
Turkish troops have launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of separatist Kurdish rebels, the military said Friday — a move that dramatically escalates Turkey's conflict with the militants.
10,000 of them. Not good.
At least there is some good news, in a way:
Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr extended his Mehdi Army militia ceasefire by around six months on Friday, according to a statement read out on his behalf in a mosque in Baghdad.
But ultimately, this good news reflects the real failure of America's blow shit up and it'll work out alright in the end policy.
Five years, nearly 4,000 Americans and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Iraqi dead -- and who knows how many wounded; $600 billion spent and $12 billion a month more down the shitter constantly; our international reputation in tatters; Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib; waterboarding; Osama still walking the earth, etc.
And the whole operation is dependent on the whims of ONE GUY, who four years ago we were trying to arrest and/or kill.
If you want to see a winner out of this whole debacle, it isn't any American, it's Moqtada al-Sadr, now the so important he is flippin' untouchable and completely necessary to our policy in Iraq. And he also hates our fucking guts.
Let's make sure to convince our enemies to sign an agreement that when they attack us, they will:1) Use only bus-sized or larger missiles
2) Give us the path & trajectory information 90 days in advance
3) Not take any defensive counter measures
4) Send only a single missile at a time, with no multiple warheads
Then it should work like a charm every time!
And as a commenter there mentioned:
5) Wait to attack us until the weather is clear.
And I don't regret it.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say without looking...
Daily Kossacks have overwhelming declared Barack the Winner!
Most of MyDD has declared Hillary the Winner!
I'm going to guess anything classy from Senator Clinton was proclaimed by pundits to be like she was "saying goodbye" -- because that's the theme.
Of course, if she was combative, she was proclaimed "desperate".
If Obama was combative, he was "un-Presidential" or "inexperienced"
If he was classy he was "Too Smooth" or "Coasting".
Let me proclaim, my feelings...
EVERYBODY WINS, AND ONLY THOSE WHO OBSESS WITH DEBATES LOSE!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
On Tuesday they were "cult leaders";
On Wednesday they were Communists;
And today, they're Nazis;
I anxiously await tomorrow's 'Space Alien' report.
Well, I guess there's at least variety for the Obamas.
The Clintons get no variety at all, its just being unfairly called a "Horndog" & "Bitch" by someone on the right, or the media, every damn day.
I don't know if that's the greatest argument in the world but I'm not sure any of the three remaining candidates have that much administrative experience other than via osmosis. Also, though the story got way overplayed and didn't hurt him much, Axelrod as his chosen campaign manager didn't exactly do a bang up job on not repeating himself in writing speeches -- though he's been fantastic on other matters.
Nevertheless, if how campaigns are run is at all reflective of how you Administrate, then Obama is one hell of an Administrator if you look at January.
Obama: Raised $36.1 million, spent $30.5 million.
Clinton: Raised $13.9 million, spent $28.5 million
In other words, Obama operated in January on a surplus budget, raising $5.6 million more than he spent, while Clinton operated in January on a deficit budget, spending $14.6 million more than she raised.
The Clinton figure does not include the $5 million dollar loan she made to her campaign, for which she reportedly charged interest and, contrary to some press reports earlier this month, has not been paid back.
And, of course, McCain though the media originally reported it as a slam on Obama, is actually the one wanking on public financing, he appears to have completely fucked up in how he managed his finances and may be royally fucked financially for some time to come.
I know that discussion of The Obsolete Skills Wiki is making the rounds on some blogs and webbies. The OS Wiki created by Brad Kellet is worth taking a gander at because it is fun to make a list of skills that apparently are no longer relevant. Especially for some of us old Crone's who remember these skills. Ah, hand coding... I hardly used ye.
We can use this idea, my friends (oops, sorry I slipped into John "Bob Dole" McCain mode). Think of all of the obsolete so-called skills of the current regime here in the good ol' U.S. of A. I wonder when we can add "decider" to the list? Or "architect of Iraq war?"
Do we have any skills to list from ol' BushCheneyCo that will be washed away by the Democratic flood that is coming?
I don't remember Patton opening with a gigantic dumbass as well as a cast member from road company of "The Lion King".
(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
A bill approved by a Utah legislative committee would codify licensed concealed-weapons holders' ability to carry loaded guns openly in almost any publicly owned space in Utah, including university campuses, public schools, sports arenas, and hospitals, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
What's next? Public shoot outs?
“Unless he gives you special treatment or takes legislative action against his own views, I don’t think his personal and social relationships matter,” said Charles Black, a friend and campaign adviser who has previously lobbied the senator for aviation, broadcasting and tobacco concerns.
In two sentences tells you everything.
Yet how many other media types will notice?
Hillary Clinton's campaign owes Mark Penn more than $2 million for his services.
Given the "magic" he's worked for her, it has to be a lot of fun to think it has cost you that much.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The U.S. military said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment but there is no indication they had Down syndrome as Iraqi and U.S. officials initially had claimed.
The act of strapping yourself up with explosives and then self-detonating in a crowd of innocent people is abhorrent enough. To add that special touch of extra malevolence to it just to gain some sort of PR battle points at home about how were dealing with 'monsters' is not necessary and, well, also sick.
And the bottom-line is, when it was a asserted a few weeks ago when this explosion occurred I doubted it because we've been lied to so many times before, or had ridiculous assertions tossed out at us with the seeming purpose of giving right-wing blogs something to spew about.
And now, here we are seing it happen yet again.
Thanks to the terrific folks at The Onion!
Each morning, I wake up with a smile on my face and a renewed sense of vigor, because this day is unlike any other, and it is full of potential. There's a phrase in Latin that summarizes my philosophy of life: Carpe diem. Seize the day. While that may seem a little extreme to some, mark my words, it is a recipe for success. Provided you take into consideration the accelerated depreciation your assets will accrue over time, as marked by said day being seized.
Now I know that there are some naysayers out there who think that you can't be too careful, but I say throw caution to the wind! Life's too short not to make the most of every day. If making the most of every day means that you have to work Saturday to make sure you meet your fiduciary duties that have been established in advance, I say, live it up!
Are you listening Dr. Phil? No, I didn't think so!
Florida’s state board of education today approved science standards that for the first time refer specifically to the theory of evolution, and give what many supporters say is a more coherent and concise treatment to important topics across science.
Now, isn't that special? Of course, the language of the standard is that evolution is a theory that continues to generate controversy and be debated. Hmmm... I thought that the scientific community put this idea to rest a long time ago.
Take a look at this side by side comparison of health care plans from Obama and Clinton from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Unlike John - Bob Dole - McCain, both democrats have interesting plans that would -- at least -- help provide health insurance and decent coverage for most Americans. Which is a far sight more than the right wing can provide or has even tried to provide!
Yeah, compassionate conservatism, right...
I'm no political analyst, but unlike media-world or blog-world the people who take part in these primaries in the real-world LIKE BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE. But the one who goes "GOP-style" on a Democrat is clearly going to be the one that is punished.
Nevertheless, I bet they double-down in Texas and Ohio.
And, indeed, it appears that they will indeed do just that: (caveat emptor, it's Howie Fineman for goodness sakes)
Remarkably, in the wake of this loss, Howard Fineman was reporting on MSNBC earlier that the Clinton team was spinning it actually as vindication of their Wisconsin strategy since Clinton did better here than she did in the Potomac primaries, where she lost by 29% and 23% in Virginia and Maryland respectively.
This is sad, it's downright, Kirk Watson-level sad. By the way Kirk, try here.
Although Mr. Watson is not actually a highly-paid self-proclaimed genius -- like Mark Penn & Howard Wolfman.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Visit and cheer him up, and give him some Pay Pal love if you can.
Dear Greatest Generation,
My friends, make that Second Greatest.
Speaking to about 500 party faithful at the Outagamie County Lincoln Day Dinner, McCain said the war in Iraq was part of the fight against Islamic extremism, "the greatest evil, probably, that this nation has ever faced."
At a LINCOLN DAY DINNER...because Ol' Abe had it easy with the Civil "fucking" War which only killed 600,000 out of a population of a little over 30 million -- about 1 out of every 15 males of fighting age.
And, of course, the Greatest Generation is really lame, what with their Defeat of the Nazis.
And the Soviets, what a bunch o' pussies compared to Osama and his moronic band of cave dwellers, a bunch ONLY George Bush & John McCain could manage to make stronger.
To those family members, spammers, distant friends, cousins, acquaintances who do not know how to use the delete button properly, people I have never heard of except for the fact you are sending me these worthless emails and -- oh yes -- those supposedly patriotic idiots who support Bush's war in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Stop sending me your stupid "acts of patriotism" stories about war veterans in the airports, "coming home but shipping back out" stories, "bravely going to fight in Iraq" stories, etc... etc... etc... damn etc!
And why are these stories always in bold or italics and/or in bright colors? And what is wrong with all these people who spread these wastes of bandwidth?! Yes, I always send jingoistic messages to everyone I know... Whaaaa? Sheesh, this takes fear mongering and personal attacks to a whole new level! Which is all inescapable except but for the blessed delivery of the delete key!!
Stop cluttering my email inbox with your unbelievably nationalist war mongering clap trap. Leave the BS among yourselves. Keep the urban legends to other idiots like you because I don't need them.
Nope, none for me. Thanks.
Now, maybe we need to start spreading messages about how amazing Clinton and Obama are... how unbelievably cool they were in an airport, or how they brought a small crowd to tears by their genuine compassion for someone, or ... Why is it that the only story crap that is circulated is the usual far right pseudo propaganda?
Robert Somma (a Bush Appointed Bankruptcy Judge to the 1st Circuit)... was arrested on the DUI charge, wearing a black cocktail dress and fishnet stockings.
Thanks to recent legislation, the GOP will not be able to easily keep their house.
I guess this means Paris Hilton will have to keep up and release a bukkake tape or something.
Of course, he's being replaced by his younger brother
Raul is generally believed to be a bit more practical, pragmatic and less dogmatic than his brother. And also substantially less charismatic. And, of course, old -- older than McCain. If McCain gets elected President somehow, he and Raul can waive their replaced hip-joints at each other. Maybe they could settle things in match-play -- Raul will be the one that blends into the fairway.
I'm sure Cuban emigres all over South Florida will be out half-heartedly waiving their Cuban flags with Gloria Estefan's picture on them this evening and cursing the undoubtedly oppressive dictatorship that still managed to export physicians throughout Central America.
Monday, February 18, 2008
With the rise of Guitar Hero and the soon to be released Aerosmith version of the game, is it true that the youth of America refuse to be swayed by the American band that just will not die... (from our friends at the Onion)
There probably are lots of workers who would love to create Web sites dedicated to getting their bosses fired.
But the very real likelihood of losing their jobs provides a big incentive for employees not to post their negative thoughts about The Man (or The Woman) in cyberspace.
Generally, employers have the legal right to prevent workers from using personal Web sites, or blogs, to malign supervisors and co-workers, or damage an employer's business reputation.
But a recent state Court of Appeals decision, which reinstated a Detroit police officer who was fired for keeping a personal blog his boss didn't like, should give employers pause. Officer John Bennett didn't much care for Jerry Oliver, the city's police chief at the time, so he created the site, firejerryo.com, in 2002.
Bennett first was suspended and then fired in 2003 because Oliver claimed the site contained negative racial overtones, damaged the reputation of the Detroit Police Department and compromised public safety.
In a Dec. 4 ruling, the state Court of Appeals disagreed and ordered Bennett reinstated with back pay.
The court rejected the city's claims the site damaged the police department or harmed public safety.
It did note the site "included some comic relief and 'edgy' criticism of department officials."
The ruling isn't directly applicable to private-sector employers because it dealt mainly with alleged violations of the state public employment relations act. But here's the part that could make business employers sweat: The appellate court said Bennett's blog constituted "concerted activity" protected by state law.
In other words, Bennett wasn't on a one-man mission to get Oliver fired. The court said his blog was protected because it provided a forum for other officers to express their concerns about working conditions in the department and induced group activity "for the mutual aid and protection of fellow police officers ..."
Once there was The People - Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People, and it made a hell of earth!
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, oh, ye slain!
Once there was The People - it shall never be again!
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy killed 35 civilians at a busy market in southern Afghanistan, a police official said.
At least 28 people were wounded in the attack in Spin Boldak, a town in Kandahar province near the border with Pakistan, said Abdul Razeq, the Spin Boldak border police chief. Three Canadian soldiers were lightly wounded, he said.
It started out honoring Washington & Lincoln exclusively.
Now it includes good Presidents, but also includes Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren Harding, Richard Nixon ... and soon George W. Bush.
We are the mediocre presidents.
You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents!
There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and there's Hayes.
There's William Henry Harrison, ``I died in thirty days!''
We... are... the... adequate, forgettable, occasionally regrettable
Caretaker presidents of the U-S-A!
Can you imagine Disney World when they add the animatronic Bush and for the first time, the robot is smarter, more eloquent and less stubborn than the original?
(caveat -- apparently it is already there, I find the "Hall of Presidents" concept the creepiest thing in the universe - I hear Animatronic John Tyler has wondering hands)
But the Democratic House leadership balked — particularly at the notion of protecting from lawsuits companies that had cooperated with the government in surveillance efforts after Sept. 11. Director McConnell repeatedly explained that such private-sector cooperation is critical to antiterror efforts, in surveillance and other areas, and that it requires the assurance of immunity.
National Security concerns so vital they stopped when the Government failed to think it important enough to pay their bill.
Ah, cheering on needless wars, botching them, and continuing them on eternally, truly the extremely white man's burden.
Bill Kristol, may we now beat you and flail you by the awesome wanks that made you?
So Lieberman's political career is now pretty much a feminine hygiene commercial.
Mr. Curry had lunch with Mr. Lieberman in December 2005 and warned about the antiwar sentiment sweeping Connecticut. “This is not an argument over the capital gains tax,” Mr. Curry recalled telling him. “This is the biggest foreign policy mistake in the history of the country.”
Mr. Lieberman, who often praised the defense secretary at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, shrugged off this advice. He saw the war as an epic struggle against Islamic terrorism; bombing Iran might not be a bad idea, either.