<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: October 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Garbage in, garbage out

Walter Scheib III, the former White House executive chef, says cooking for Bush became boring for him because "President and Mrs. Bush weren’t particularly adventurous eaters." Scheib said he had to make "many an enchilada and grilled-cheese sandwich on white bread with Kraft singles."


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Who is "doing remarkably well"?

Yesterday in an interview with Rush Limbaugh, Cheney said about Iraq, "If you look at the general overall situation, they're doing remarkably well."

Who is doing remarkably well, Mr. Cheney? The insurgents? The 655,000 dead Iraqis? The 2,800 dead U.S. soldiers? Halliburton?


Monday, October 16, 2006

Maybe this explains why Bush is "inexplicably upbeat"

Speculation has run wild ever since the Washington Post reported that Bush and Rove seem "inexplicably upbeat" in the face of all the scandals claiming Republicans on the eve of the midterm elections. What do they know that we don't know? Is Bush planning an attack on North Korea or Iran? Has Diebold already fixed the outcome of the election? Is Rove going to find a way to postpone or suspend the election?

Or is Bush indifferent to losing control of the House and Senate...because...he's planning to move to Paraguay?

Don't laugh - at least two independent sources report rumors of a Bush family purchase of land in northern Paraguay. One of the sources, Prensa Latina, said:

"An Argentine official regarded the intention of the George W. Bush family to settle on the Acuifero Guarani (Paraguay) as surprising, besides being a bad signal for the governments of the region...Luis D Elia, undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital INFOBAE.com, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

"D Elia considered this Bush step counterproductive for the regional power expressed by Presidents Nestor Kirchner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

"He said that 'it is a bad signal that the Bush family is doing business with natural resources linked to the future of MERCOSUR.'

"The official pointed out that this situation could cause a hypothetical conflict of all the armies in the region, and called attention to the Bush family habit of associating business and politics."

Yeah, business and politics...and...avoidance of extradition for war crimes?


Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Tempting Faith" crucifies Bush

George W. Bush and Karl Rove have been playing evangelical Christians for suckers. So says the soon-to-be-released book "Tempting Faith," by David Kuo, former #2 man in Bush's so-called Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Keith Olbermann, who previewed the book last night on MSNBC's "Countdown," calls it "a devastating work." Watch the video (http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/10/11/olbermann-exclusive-dissecting-new-book-tempting-faith/) or read the transcript below. Olbermann will be talking about the book again on his show tonight at 10.

Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" (10/11/06):

When President Bush touched on Iraq at his news conference this morning, he may have been revealing more than he knew.

[video] BUSH: The stakes couldn't be any higher, as I said earlier, in the world in which we live. There are extreme elements that use religion to achieve objectives.

He was talking about religious extremists in Iraq. But an hour later, Mr. Bush posed with officials from the Southern Baptist Convention.

It is described as the largest, most influential evangelical denomination in a new book by the former number-two man in Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.

The book, "Tempting Faith," not out until Monday, but in our third story tonight, a Countdown exclusive, we've obtained a copy and it is a devastating work.

Author David Kuo's conservative Christian credentials are impeccable; his resume sprinkled with names like Bennett and Ashcroft. Now, as the Foley cover-up has many evangelical Christians wondering whether the G.O.P. is really in sync with their values, "Tempting Faith" provides the answer: No way.

Kuo, citing one example after another of a White House that repeatedly uses evangelical Christians for their votes - while consistently giving them nothing in return;

A White House which routinely speaks of the nation's most famous evangelical leaders behind their backs, with contempt and derision.

Furthermore, Faith-Based Initiatives were not only stiffed on one public promise after another by Mr. Bush - the office itself was eventually forced to answer a higher calling: Electing Republican politicians.

Kuo's bottom line: the Bush White House is playing millions of American Christians for suckers.

According to Kuo, Karl Rove's office referred to evangelical leaders as "the nuts."

Kuo says, "National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as 'ridiculous,' 'out of control,' and just plain 'goofy.'"

So how does the Bush White House keep "the nuts" turning out at the polls?

One way, regular conference calls with groups led by Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Ted Haggard, and radio hosts like Michael Reagan.

Kuo says, "Participants were asked to talk to their people about whatever issue was pending. Advice was solicited [but] that advice rarely went much further than the conference call. [T]he true purpose of these calls was to keep prominent social conservatives and their groups or audiences happy."

They do get some things from the Bush White House, like the National Day of Prayer, “another one of the eye-rolling Christian events,” Kuo says.

And “passes to be in the crowd greeting the president when he arrived on Air Force One or tickets for a speech he was giving in their hometown. Little trinkets like cufflinks or pens or pads of paper were passed out like business cards. Christian leaders could give them to their congregations or donors or friends to show just how influential they were. Making politically active Christians personally happy meant having to worry far less about the Christian political agenda.”

When cufflinks weren't enough, the White House played the Jesus card, reminding Christian leaders that, quote, “they knew the president's faith” and begging for patience.

And the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives?

According to Kuo, “White House staff didn't want to have anything to do with the Faith-Based Initiative because they didn't understand it any more than did congressional Republicans . They didn't lie awake at night trying to kill it. They simply didn 't care."

Kuo relates one faith-based promise after another - billions of dollars in funding and tax credits - that goes unfulfilled year after promise after year.

He recounts one specific funding exchange with Mr. Bush:

Bush: "Eight billion in new dollars?"

Kuo: "No, sir. Eight billion in existing dollars for which groups will find it technically easier to apply. But faith-based groups have been getting that money for years."

Bush: "Eight billion. That's what we'll tell them. Eight billion in new funds for faith-based groups."

Why bother lying?

Kuo says, "The faith-based initiative had the potential to successfully evangelize more voters than any other."

According to Kuo, the Office spent much of its time on two missions:

One: Trying - and failing - to prove Mr. Bush's claim of regulatory bias against religious charities hiring who they wanted. Quote: "Finding these examples became a huge priority. …[but] religious groups had encountered very few instances of actual problems with their hiring practices. It really wasn't that bad at all."

Another mission: lobbying the President to make good on his own promises.


Kuo says they tried to prove their political value by turning the once-bipartisan faith-based initiatives into a political operation.

It wasn't just discrimination against non-Christian charities. (One official who rated grant applications told Kuo, " when I saw one of those non-Christian groups in the set I was reviewing, I just stopped looking at them and gave them a zero…a lot of us did. ")

The Office was also, literally, a taxpayer-funded part of the Republican campaign machinery.

In 2002, Kuo says the office decided to "hold roundtable events for threatened incumbents with faith and community leaders … using the aura of our White House power to get a diverse group of faith and community leaders to a 'nonpartisan' event discussing how best to help poor people in their area."

White House Political Affairs director Ken Mehlman "loved the idea and gave us our marching orders. There were twenty targets." Including Saxby Chambliss in Georgia and John Shimkus in Illinois.

Mehlman devised a cover-up for the operation. He told Kuo, "It can't come from the campaigns. That would make it look too political. It needs to come from the congressional offices. We'll take care of that by having our guys call the office to request the visit."

Kuo explains, "this approach inoculated us against accusations that we were using religion and religious leaders to promote specific candidates."

Those roundtables were a hit. Republicans won 19 of those 20 races. 76 percent of religious conservatives voted for Chambliss over decorated war hero Max Cleland.

And Bush's 2004 victory in Ohio? That "was at least partially tied to the conferences [they] had launched [there] two years before."

By that time, Kuo had left the White House, concluding that "it was mocking the millions of faithful Christians who had put their trust and hope in the President and his administration. Bush knew his so-called compassion agenda was languishing and had no problem with that."

If you would question Mr. Kuo's credibility, you should know his former boss also quit the White House complaining in his one public interview that politics drove absolutely everything in the Bush administration. There is more, much more revealed in Tempting Faith… how Jack Kemp was tricked into sounding like a religious conservative without even knowing it; Jerry Falwell's astonishing behavior at the 9/11 Day of Remembrance and considerably more as our Countdown exclusive of Tempting Faith continues here tomorrow night.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Poll: What do you think Karl Rove's "October Surprise" will be?

Karl Rove promised to deliver an October Surprise to help Republicans win the mid-term elections. What do you think he'll do?

What will Karl Rove's "October Surprise" be?
Attack North Korea
Attack Iran
Attack tattletale pages
Attack gays
Attack Bill Clinton
Attack Bob Woodward
Attack a high-rise building in New York with a small plane
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Iraqi death toll "more than 600,000"

A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers estimates that more than 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since Bush invaded in 2003.

Six. Hundred. Thousand.

The researchers acknowledge that the number is an estimate. The actual count is somewhere between 426,369 and 793,663 deaths.

So the Bush administration is responsible for more Iraqi deaths than Saddam Hussein ever was (the highest estimates are "over 100,000").

The Bush administration is also responsible for more American deaths (2,753) than 9/11 was (2,752).

Who is the real threat to American and world security? Who is the real terrorist?

How long are we going to let this lunatic run the show?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poor Alaskans freezing to death rather than accept free oil

Even though the cost of heating oil in Alaska is sky high and native Alaskans are dirt poor, some of them are refusing free heating oil from Venezuela...because...Hugo Chavez called president Bush "the devil."

Right. That makes sense. Let your children freeze to death because someone expressed an opinion you disagree with.

Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon, explains: "As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us. Even though we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."

The right choice? Isn't that what Bush says about the war in Iraq? And isn't Bush's "right choice" responsible for creating those "economically dire straits"?


(Thanks to Veronica Christie for the scoop.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bush is "ticked off big time" - but not at North Korea

According to the Daily News, Bush is furious with Mark Foley and other Republicans for helping to create a political downdraft that has blunted his momentum and endangered Republican prospects for keeping control of Congress next month.

Momentum? What momentum?

"There's steam coming out of his ears over the Foley thing," someone who talks to the President regularly said. "The base is starting to get turned off again."

Oh no! How can we turn them on again? Maybe Mark Foley would know.

And while Bush publicly claims to support House Speaker Dennis Hastert, sources say he thinks Hastert and other GOP House leaders bungled their handling of the Foley affair and look like they're attempting a coverup.

No! A coverup?

Some of Bush's anger is also directed toward former aides who fed Bob Woodward material for his new book, "State of Denial," which exposes the Bush administration as dysfunctional and chaotic. "He's ticked off big-time," said one source, "even if what they said was the truth."

"Even if"? You mean "even though"?

Despite all the bad news, sources say Bush remains defiantly resolute. He will campaign relentlessly in the next month and has told friends he's determined to prove Democrats and media enemies wrong on Election Day.

As a certain defiantly resolute president once said, "Bring it on!"


Thursday, October 05, 2006

We bought a lemon

"The contemporary Republican party seems brilliantly suited to the modern age, for it has perfected the art of maintaining political power in the midst of democratic decay…

"As men of commerce, Republicans naturally understood marketing better than Democrats, and they applied what they knew about selling products to politics…

"The conduct of contemporary electoral politics is like what would happen if an automobile company decided to fire its engineers and let the advertising guys design the new model. The car they package might sell. It just wouldn’t run very well."

- William Greider, "Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy," 1992

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mark Foley, world-class hypocrite

Mark Foley, hypocritical co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, made this hypocritical and portentous comment about the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998:

"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction." (http://www.sptimes.com/Worldandnation/91298/Congress_sees_through.html)

He also said, about the FBI's crackdown on child predators: "If I were one of those sickos, I'd be nervous." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6BKR4cTmAg)

And about the idea of teen nudist camps: "It's putting matches a little too close to gasoline." (http://www.sptimes.com/2003/06/19/State/Nude_summer_youth_cam.shtml?remember)

Obviously, Foley is a sick man and needs professional help. Unfortunately, so will his young victims. The real scandal here is that people who knew what was going on didn't do anything to stop it. Those people don't need professional help - they need to lose their jobs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Join a "World Can't Wait" protest this Thursday

On Thursday, October 5, millions of people across the U.S. will participate in a day of mass resistance against the Bush regime. We will walk out of school, take off from work, and go to the downtowns and townsquares of our cities to shout "NO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!"

For a list of events close to where you live, go to http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2418&_event=14

The Mission of World Can't Wait:

"World Can't Wait is organizing people living in the United States to take responsibility to stop the whole disastrous course led by the Bush administration. We seek to create a political situation where the Bush administration's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking U.S. society is reversed.

"We seek to mobilize millions to express their outrage, to speak the truth, to act with urgency and form an organized political resistance. We welcome any individuals and groups who agree that the Bush Regime should be driven out, whatever their political party affiliation or lack thereof. We reach out to people who have been fooled by Bush, and to those who have been most seriously affected by the outrages inflicted by the Bush Regime.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT suppresses the science that doesn't fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.

"YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.

"People look at all this and think of Hitler - and they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come.

"We must act now; the future is in the balance.

"Millions and millions are deeply disturbed and outraged by this. They recognize the need for a vehicle to express this outrage, yet they cannot find it; politics as usual cannot meet the enormity of the challenge, and people sense this. There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing." People who steal elections and believe they're on a "mission from God" will not go without a fight. There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into "leaders" who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.

"But silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn - or be forced - to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it. And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history. Acting in this way, we join with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped.

"This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop. The point is this: history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined.

"The future is unwritten. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US."

For more info, visit World Can't Wait at http://worldcantwait.net/index.php