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    19 November 2005

    "Straw Man Resolution" | More Rovian attacks on Murtha

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    Juan Cole is great as usual this morning re. the fake GOP resolution. Or the Straw Man Resolution as it will now be called.
    Republicans in Congress responded to Murtha's considered plan by introducing a phony resolution the bore little resemblance to Murtha's, and then helping defeat it overwhelmingly. The intent was apparently to force the Democrats either to look as though they were in favor of "cutting and running" or to vote against immediately withdrawing US troops and so associating themselves with Bush's 'stay the course' policy. The Republican straw man resolution was:

    'Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

    1 Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.'

    Well, this stupid resolution is not what Murtha was saying, and the vote on it is meaningless. It is worse than meaningless. It is political clowning.

    Indeed, given the GIs being blown up on a daily basis, the Republican phony resolution was the equivalent of trying to do a stand-up comedy routine at the funeral of someone's beloved son who had died at age 20.

    I don't think the American people will find it amusing. We'll see in 2006 whether they did.


    Hunter at dKos sheds light on the haps in Washington. He goes to Newsweek's Howard Fineman who's mood couldn't be called anything less than disturbingly odd these days; he is very serious, Hunter called it "somber and simmering". Talking about the campaign style attack that is being waged by the WH against Democrates and now focused on retired Marine Colonel John Murtha Hunter describes a Fineman appearance on Countdown
    Fineman was remarkably blunt in his assertions that the "ethics" and other attacks on Murtha are being orchestrated by Karl Rove -- by name -- and the White House, which intends to hit Murtha with everything "necessary". He stated directly that the White House sees everything as a political operation. He was blunt in Murtha's record and leadership position in the war, and in attributing to Murtha the behind-the-scenes voices of many top Pentagon voices who are unhappy with both the state of the war effort and with Rumsfeld's planning in the specific.

    In short, he made it perfectly, bitterly clear that the White House itself sees Murtha as a tremendous threat, considers itself at war with Murtha, and that Rove -- again, by name -- intends to hit him with everything at the administration's disposal.
    Whether or not Karl Rove survives the excesses of being Karl Rove, I have to wonder if the same crass, one-note song will play, or if the audience has changed. When the only weapon the White House is capable of using is to impugn the very patriotism and Americanness of their opponents, what happens if the reactions to that attack change?

    What happens if the press decides that dissent is, after all, patriotic? And is it happening, just the twinges, because of the utter collapse of the poll numbers, because of the Plame indictment(s?), because of the continuing quagmire of the war, because of the 2,000 deaths mark, because of the other Republican investigations and indictments, seemingly raining down like hailstones anywhere Abramoff has brushed up against the woodwork of power, and/or simply because of the continuing Republican political schtick that works so well for dismissing a minority, but considerably less well when you are calling sixty percent of the country traitors for not dancing to the tune?

    Included in the further attacks are Jean Schmidt (the Freshman GOP Congress-critter from Ohio) who read a letter from an ex-Marine on her campaign team and then called Murtha a coward and a GOP floated ethics probe that surfaced yesterday.

    [UPDATE] To show you the level of ignorance we're dealing with on the right, Malkin posts this poorly done photoshop claiming the Dem plan is to cut and run. These people either can't read or are just so caught up with the Repubs hate machine they can't get of it; it's like a drug I guess. But seriously, shouldn't this bitch be rounding up Arabs, Muslims, and Asians for the CIA or for Cheney to torture in his undisclosed location. Some people call her blog a News source, something is wrong with that.

    I never I though I'd be talking about this now. The House GOP are scum, pure scum, the green slimy kind. What a waste of time! A whole evening and what? The GOP shelved a serious and thought out plan and put forth a sham and for what? I'm not writing this in support of Murtha's plan but it is a start and apparently influenced by Generals in Iraq. I believe if we pull out from a stay the course process then Iraq will be a thorn in our side for years. But if we make a wide ranging policy shift (some fairness and honesty) along with a tactical shift in Iraq; start helping not killing, then drawdown as Iraqis take control, keeping air power in the region and Marines stationed out of the way but close enough to fight the irregulars and other fighters in Iraq that surface. Then I think we can become disengaged in a timely manor, not 6 months or even a year but soon.

    The GOP has never thought ahead, and that is why this war has gone so poorly.

    Posted by Geoff

    18 November 2005

    Top Iraqi general requests troop withdrawal

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    What happened in the House today was unbelievable. I thought the Dems had been cornered but that never really happened. Right off the top Jean Schmidt attacked Murtha, judging him a coward. Personal attacks are forbidden in the House, and she had to withdrawal her comment. From then on the Dems were on the attack while the Repubs continued with a mixture of damage control and mis-truths about Iraq and the WoT. Several Repubs did speak up for Murtha.

    The main point made by all this was that the Dems were completely against the wording of the Repub resolution. The verdict is still on the Murtha amendment though since it has some thought and substance to it. Here is where it gets good...

    With the Murtha resolution on the table, George W. Casey, Jr. (The top US commander in Iraq) has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq
    Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades -- usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each -- begin pulling out of Iraq early next year.

    At the same time, Rummy pulls a Macnamara and declares he didn't really support the war on Iraq. Wow!

    Posted by Geoff

    Repubs fight back WRT Iraq pull out

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    Tonight the House Repubs will force a 'pull out of Iraq Resolution' to get the Dems 'on record' so they can frame them as 'cut 'n run'. I don't know how this will turn out, I'm not optimistic about it though.

    - Dkos

    - RawStory

    - AP

    The Dems may have just fucked up. Let's hope they argue about Murtha's actual words and the revision the Repubs have made. He clearly called for a withdrawal "as soon as practicable" and he should be held to that. His proposal continues

    * Six months to redeploy
    * Marine units on standby in case of emergency
    * Continue training
    * Let the Iraqis handle their own day-to-day security.

    Dems, don't let the Repubs spin this on you! Your in enough trouble as it is.

    [UPDATE] Kos has the differences in the plan here.

    I don't really know what s going on, besides a partisan stunt, but the difference in the resolutions is pretty clear though the media may still struggle to get it.

    1) The Republicans proposal has the word "immediately". No plan for an orderly withdrawal. The implication is haul everyone out and don't cover your allies or your tails. It's as much a plan to get out of the war as what Rummy had to get in it. It also does not got to the Senate. It's an intention with no strategy.

    2) The Democratic proposition will end up voted on by the WHOLE Congress. It's a real bill, with a plan - the effect is an immediate plan for withdrawal as soon as is practicable. This bill is a statement of intention, strategy and tactics.

    I don't know that I support either one, but #1 is a clear stunt. Repubs should be ashamed.


    Jean Schmidt (the orange one), who had Joe Braun working for her (he's some kind of sex freak) when she ran against Iraq War vet Paul Hackett in Ohio, lost it and called Murtha a coward (you may have to reread that ;) ). What happened next was priceless, the room erupted into outrage
    Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack. "You guys are pathetic. Pathetic," yelled Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass.

    Schmidt could have been censured and rightly withdrew her appauling remarks. Kos has it.

    Posted by Geoff

    Oily Execs Lie to Congress

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    Not that this is suprising, but executives from Exxon, Conoco, Shell and BP just lied boldface to the US congress. It's obvious why the republican chair, (Ted Stevens of the Pork bridge to Nowhere in Alaska) of the committee before which they were testifying, angrily refused to have them sworn in. He foresaw that somebody would ask them if they had participated in Cheney's energy task force and wanted to make it easier for them to lie to America. Does anyone see any eerie similarity to when all of the tobacco execs stood up before congress (after being sworn in) and lied their asses off simultaneously?

    From the Washington Post:
    A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001. The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy. In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The executives were not under oath when they testified, so they are not vulnerable to charges of perjury; committee Democrats had protested the decision by Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) not to swear in the executives. But a person can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for making "any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation" to Congress.

    [UPDATE] I reformated for this site. ~Geoff


    Posted by Bill

    Merry Fitzmas II?

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    It looks like we might see some more justice delivered by the fair hand of Patrick Fitzgerald. New info, a new jury, but same ol Pat.
    Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.

    Let's give the man some room, take all the time you need...

    Oh, 'Scooter' isn't of the hook by any means and those who say that the Fitz case is crumbling, read his statement
    Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson.

    it's not crumbling but getting stronger as those who withheld info start to sing.

    Posted by Geoff

    17 November 2005


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    When I first saw this I thought it was an international poll. Seems that our country is wakeing up from a 9/11 induced comma.

    Welcome back, it's almost 2006 and things are a lot worse...

    Posted by Geoff

    The Dems are going to mess everything up

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    It was bound to happen. Today the Dems put up a hawk to call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
    "It is time for a change in direction," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats. "Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."

    Why do political parties only listen to the fringes of their party? That's what got us into Iraq and that is what brought this to the House today. Why not say we need to reassess our position in/on Iraq, develop new strategy, or un-unilateralize the war as much as possible and invite Arabs and Muslims into Iraq. Something like that not 'RETREAT'.

    That's why I'm independent and Dems get none of my money I guess.

    I think they just gave the Repubs major traction.

    [UPDATE] Well so far the response has been lame. Cheney said something I think but since only about 20% of the public like him it safe to assume he wont be making much of a difference politicaly. Only a special few still respoct and trust him and we know who those people are. They won't be voting Dem anytime soon, that would require to much thinking. Nezt is Scotty, he compared Murtha's views with those of "Michael Moore." That was a fumble. If that's all the got then we'll get past this. It might even turn out better...

    Posted by Geoff

    16 November 2005

    Woodward comes clear re. Treasongate

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    Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his investigation and announced when indicting Libby three weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not Libby -- the first government employee to disclose Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the investigation, the first reporter known to have learned about Plame from a government source.

    Wow, so who is it and will Libby take the fall or will he rat out the real criminal or most likely co-criminal?

    William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, asks some stupid questions...
    "If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was the first official to give this information to a reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"

    One, maybe but this isn't do to some failure on behalf of Fitzgerald but lack of cooperation from the press and especially the WH.

    Two, Libby was indicted because it is clear that he was holding back info and covering for those above him in the WH. Also, Woodwards source released him less than two weeks ago from a confidentiality agreement so he didn't know about this but someone in the WH did so again with the stonewall.

    All in all, an interesting case is coming...

    Posted by Geoff

    15 November 2005

    Bush limits access - only meets with women

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    Hunter has a post up at dKos about a ultra-Repub insider who has revealed the mood in the oval office. It's hidden at a Wa Times outfit, www.insightmag.com, (owned by Moonie). In addition to Bush (43) severing contact with Bush (41), this caught my eye, and others...
    The sources said Mr. Bush maintains daily contact with only four people: first lady Laura Bush, his mother, Barbara Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes.

    His wife, mom, make believe wife, and the wicked witch from the South (FL).

    Armando has more...

    Posted by Geoff

    13 November 2005

    The allegiance to bush is fading

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    This most recent PR attempt to somehow say that the Dems can't dissent on the handling of the war because they voted for it (which they actually didn't vote for war), and that they had the same intel as the pres., VP, et cetera (which they didn't) is really entertaining to watch. First it has little support which has been, in the past, a given with the right-wing noise machine and all. Second, only the most loyal Republican or Repub operatives are coming out to play. Stephen Hadley says "...I think the point that needs to be emphasized ... allegations now that the president somehow manipulated intelligence, somehow misled the American people, are flat wrong.". That's great, nobody believes you, but great! I'd like to see a Senator or Congressperson come out and say that, especially the ones who are up for reelection next year. Leading to number three, Bush is becoming radioactive for Repubs, so they are going to start distancing themselves from him. Recent candidate for governor in NJ, Doug Forrester, says it was W's fault. We can hope that he'll soon be silenced by his colleagues in the run-up to '06, and hence we'll get to hear less out of his mouth for a little while. Maybe that will be a good time for him to take that ethics course and go visit Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury.

    Posted by Geoff


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