Arianna Huffington went on quite a rant at her blog today over the president’s speech in Philadelphia. In fact, she pulled no punches. Early on, she stated that “the president’s fanaticism is a scary prospect for the country.” But, that was just the beginning:
“The latest issues of both Time and Newsweek paint a portrait of an isolated president detached from the reality of all that is going on around him. Nothing seems to be penetrating -- not the rising death toll, not his depressed poll numbers, not the continuing revelations about the deceptions his administration used to lead us to war. Not even the growing skepticism about the war being expressed within his own party.”
On Monday's edition of Hardball, host Chris Matthews claimed that Americans were brainwashed into believing there was "a connection to 9/11" and Iraq. Matthews went on to insinuate that the Bush administration brain washed us with the way American soldiers would be greeted and the use of cheap oil.
The media have been in a bit of a buzz about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's speech last week attacking media coverage of Iraq. A peek at the official D.O.D. transcript shows the media section came near the end, and are only about 25 percent of his remarks. I thought it might help to post those original remarks for discussion, especially since media accounts tended to avoid quoting much of it.
We have arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press and reported and spread around the world -- often with little context and little scrutiny -- let alone correction or accountability after the fact. Speed it appears is the critical determinant. Less so, context.
On MSNBC's Hardball Friday night, four weeks to the day after he devoted his show to trying to convince viewers that the Bush administration tried to make the American public believe Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks to sell the Iraq War (see earlier Newsbusters posting for details), Matthews again pushed this myth, claiming that "many, many times" between the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq invasion, "the case was made that we were going after them, the people that had attacked us. It was clear, it was emotional, it was strongly passionate." The Hardball host also proclaimed, "This isn't an argument. It's a fact," and referred to "a very aggressive campaign to connect 9/11 and Iraq." In wrapping up the segment, he even threw in the charge that the administration argued that an Iraq invasion would be a "cakewalk," which is debunked by direct quotes, featured farther down, from administration officials dating back to several months before the war started.
Tonight, Democrat Congressman John Murtha stuck his foot in his mouth, again, in an interview on John Kasich's program, "Heartland," on Fox News. As part of his argument that American troops should be withdrawn, starting now, he said,
"The US military is not good at nation-building. President Bush said, when he ran the first time, We're not going to get into nation-building."
Source: No transcript is yet available, but this was TiVo'ed and the quote is accurate.
What President Bush said when he was first running, before 9/11, before Congress authorized "all necessary military force" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere is irrelevant. It does not control what should/must be done, today.
How does one analyze the economy's performance without considering tax policy?
In a column posted on the afternoon of December 8 at MSNBC's web site, James C. Cooper and Kathleen Madigan of Business Week Online devote over 1,100 words to analyzing and explaining the current strong economy, and fail to cite the 2003 Bush tax cuts as a possible contributing factor. In fact, the words "tax," "Bush," and even "government," do not appear at all!
Cooper's and Madigan's explanations center around spending:
So why has the economy performed above expectations amid unexpected developments? The main explanation seems to be that, despite the Fed's desire to tighten monetary conditions, consumers and businesses, on average, still have access to cash, whether through cheap borrowing, better income and profit growth, or rising housing and stock market wealth. Accommodative financial conditions are proving to be the economy's Peyton Manning, quarterbacking the steady forward movement in demand.
As the Christmas season arrives and weather gets colder across the United States, Christian temperatures always heat up to the boiling point. Across the country those who practice their Faith find themselves making written and verbal cries about the multitude of attacks on this treasured holiday. This year, though the attacks on Christmas seem to have escalated, the pleadings of hurt voices have turned to roars of anger.
Television has been filled with pundits proclaiming, as in the case of Fox news Channel’s John Gibson, the “War on Christmas”. The same channel’s Bill O’Reilly continues a nightly dialog on his observation of anti-Christian attacks. There was event a media commentator who equated the push toward removing religion from the season to geography.
He made two very interesting observations. The first was that those who live in “Jesusland” or the “flyover” red states of America are course, crass, and really not very bright. They need religious symbols to give them a sense of direction. His second observation was those in the blue states have more heart and have a greater caring nature. He said this could be proven by the simple fact that those who live in the blue states have more “safety net programs” and pay far more taxes than those bumpkins in the red states who are tight with their dollars.
Yesterday Lester wrote, "U.S. Allies Oppose Torture, Polls Show", but instead of focusing on the torture poll, the article focuses on American allies that don't want the United States conducting secret interrogations of terror suspects on their soil.
About two-thirds of the people living in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Spain said they would oppose allowing the U.S. to secretly interrogate terror suspects in their countries. Almost that many in Britain, France, Germany and Italy said they feel the same way. Almost two-thirds in the United States support such interrogations in the U.S. by their own government.
Yesterday, I posted an article here concerning a piece by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek. The inherent hypocrisy of Alter's column generated the following op-ed from me that I wanted to share for those that might be interested:
America’s mainstream media are in high dudgeon over efforts by our military to get its story out in Iraq, where winning hearts and minds is an important component of victory. Typical is Newsweek’s senior editor Jonathan Alter, who wrote an article for this week’s issue entitled “The Real Price of Propaganda.” In it, Alter came down strongly against the behavior alleged last week by the Los Angeles Times - that the Pentagon is buying placement of articles in Iraqi newspapers.
Here's an interesting item from the Associated Press about former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. As Saddam Hussein walked into the courtroom for the day's proceedings, "most of the defendants and several of the defense lawyers, including Clark, stood up out of respect when Saddam entered."
On today's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, liberal panelist and blogger Andrew Sullivan made the argument that "insurgents are legitimate" and the Bush administration wants to make a "deal with them and he wants to bring them into the process". Ironically, the process is liberating the Iraqi citizens from insurgents and various other types of terrorists. Full transcript follows.
Newsweek contributing editor and "The McLaughlin Group" panelist Eleanor Clift attacked Bush's Speech at the U.S. Naval Academy as well as other important things, such as the banners at the speech and the photo used by the New York Times:
"It’s hard to know which to admire more, the choreography or the chutzpah. White House spinmeisters put up banners that blared PLAN FOR VICTORY in case anybody missed the message in President Bush’s latest iteration of his Iraq policy in a speech on Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The photo the following day on the front page of The New York Times showed Bush bathed in the Navy colors of blue and gold and heroically positioned as though standing on the bridge of a battleship. All he needed were some stripes on his sleeve and he’d be ready for the lead in "H.M.S. Pinafore."
No tremendous shock here, but the New York Times has done it again. Specifically, in editorializing against the services of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, the Times has reinforced the perception that it has become an active arm of the liberal and world-elite.
The editorial, "Blocking Reform at the U.N." says that Ambassador Bolton is "threatening to hold up its entire two-year operating budget unless his demands for major reforms are met almost immediately."
Dan Froomkin writes a White House column weekdays for the Washington Post’s web site. In case you're not familiar with his work, let's just say that in terms of bias and tone, he's sort of an online version of Dana Milbank. (And, in case you're not familiar with Milbank: Lucky you.)
"The experts have spoken, this hurricane season will go down as the biggest, baddest, deadliest, and costliest of all time," Jim Acosta ominously intoned opening his report on the November 29 edition of the CBS Evening News. Yet while the loss of life and livelihood from Hurricane Katrina was horrific, the loss of life in the 2005 season was not record-breaking.
Over 20,000 died in the Great Hurricane of 1780, Hurricane Mitch in 1998 killed over 11,000* in Central America, and the Galveston hurricane of 1900 killed 8,000. [see link]
See my article with more detail at FreeMarketProject.com
* NOAA's Chris Vaccaro gave me a more conservative 9,000-total death toll figure over the phone, which I included in my article. At any rate, the death toll from these hurricanes far surpasses the death toll for Katrina.
Secular liberalism emerges in the funniest places, or pages. There was a Washington Post review yesterday of Carrie Underwood’s new country album. In attacking the entire album as a pre-fabricated mishmash, Dave McKenna had to mock her mention of Jesus Christ in the music: