Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 44151
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2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/8    

2006/8/25-29 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:44151 Activity:nil
8/25    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0609.dreyfuss.html
        Very interesting article on the Iraq Study (!Survey) Group
        "if the Democrats win back one or both houses of Congress in November,
        they would unleash a series of investigative hearings on Iraq, the war
        on terrorism, and civil liberties that could fatally weaken the
        administration and remove the last props of political support for the
        war, setting the stage for a potential Republican electoral disaster"
        (I came to the above conclusion some time ago, as well)
        \_ On the other hand, it could totally backfire on the Democrats as
           the Clinton impeachment did on the Republicans.
           \_ Dubya doesn't have Clinton's general popularity, but then again
              Bubba didn't have Dubya's mushroom cloud.
              \_ you mean the type of general popularity that got Clinton a
                 whopping 43% of the popular vote in 1992? Or the type that
                 got him 49.2% of the popular vote in the lowest voter
                 turnouts in decades? At least Dubya got >50% once.
                 \_ your first example is stupid.  you don't need me to
                    tell you why.
                 \_ ob stronger 3rd party candidates and pre-9/11 world
                    ob "general popularity" == approval rating
                    ob http://csua.org/u/grk (crooksandliars.com)
        \_ Why do the Democrats hate America?
           \_ Please explain to me how the Clinton impeachment backfired on
              the GOP. Although it did not achieve the stated goal of removing
              him from office, it sure did distract from his attempts to get
              his policies pushed through. -confused (and bitter) libdem
              \_ Well the GOP came across looking mean and spiteful and then
                 proceeded to take over all 3 branches of government for six
                 years.  That'll learn em!
2021/12/08 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/8    

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www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0609.dreyfuss.html
html&j=n Amid the highly charged political infighting in Washington over what to do in Iraq, you might be excused for not noticing that a bipartisan commission quietly started work last spring with a mandate to help the Bush administration rethink its policy toward the war. Of course, anything labeled "bipartisan commission" seems almost guaranteed to be ignored by a highly partisan White House that is notoriously hostile to outside advice and famously devoted to "staying the course." But what makes this particular commission hard to dismiss is that it is led by perhaps the one man who might be able to break through the tight phalanx of senior officials who advise the president and filter his information. That person is the former secretary of state, Republican insider, and consigliere of the Bush family, James A Baker III. Since March, Baker, backed by a team of experienced national-security hands, has been busily at work trying to devise a fresh set of policies to help the president chart a new course in--or, perhaps, to get the hell out of--Iraq. But as with all things involving James Baker, there's a deeper political agenda at work as well. "Baker is primarily motivated by his desire to avoid a war at home--that things will fall apart not on the battlefield but at home. So he wants a ceasefire in American politics," a member of one of the commission's working groups told me. Specifically, he said, if the Democrats win back one or both houses of Congress in November, they would unleash a series of investigative hearings on Iraq, the war on terrorism, and civil liberties that could fatally weaken the administration and remove the last props of political support for the war, setting the stage for a potential Republican electoral disaster in 2008. The fact that Baker is involved has sent the Washington rumor mill buzzing with the theory that the commission is really a Trojan Horse for the views of Baker's friend and former boss, George HW Bush. It has been widely speculated that the former president never agreed with his son's decision to invade Iraq, and the son appears to have repaid that perceived dissent by largely refusing to reach out to his father for advice on national security, despite the elder Bush's knowledge and experience. In any case, for reasons that may be Oedipal or that may have to do with neoconservatives' disdain for realists associated with Bush 41, or both, Bush 43 has so far kept the 41 circle at arm's length--including Baker; and even, during his ill-fated tenure as secretary of state, Colin Powell. But with the situation in Iraq sliding towards irretrievable chaos, a moment of receptivity may have arrived. It's hard to know what the commission is really up to because its inner workings are nearly as secretive as those of the White House. Baker has imposed an ironclad gag order on all of its participants. The 60 people involved in the effort have been instructed, in the strongest of terms, not to comment to reporters on the task force's work. Every one of the participants I spoke to flatly refused to comment for the record, and several did not want to talk even off the record. "We're not allowed to talk about it," said one person involved. Initially they wanted us to end all of our contacts with the media, make no statements, write no op-eds--in other words, become monks. Then they realized, how can you take the entire community of Iraq experts in the United States and have them all stop talking?" Baker's commission--officially called the Iraq Study Group--was created in March by Congress at the instigation of Rep. After his third trip to Iraq last year, Wolf started contacting members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, urging the creation of a high-powered, private task force to take a fresh look at the mess in Iraq. and you weren't completely comfortable that everything was going the way you hoped, you'd certainly want to get a second opinion," Wolf told me. At least 30 members of Congress supported the idea, including Rep. According to participants in the task force, a key silent partner with Wolf in putting it together was his Virginia Republican colleague, Sen. John Warner, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services committee. Wolf's motivation in creating the Iraq Study Group seems to be genuine concern that the war isn't going well and that public support for it is evaporating. During his visit to Iraq, where he spent hours with US military officers in the field, Wolf says that his eyes were opened. "Some of the things that were told to me, I had never seen before: the destabilization of the region," Wolf told me. the Jordanian government and the Egyptian government.... But some people were afraid, above all in the administration. "Initially, there was not a lot of support for the idea." Backed by congressional heavyweights, including Warner, Wolf met privately with Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and others in the administration. "If you're so confident it's going well, why are you so afraid for someone else to take a look at it?" Wolf, as the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department, had clear leverage with Rice. Not surprisingly, according to an aide to Wolf, the vice president was the most resistant to the idea. But, reluctantly or not, perhaps unwilling to challenge an idea with strong support from House and Senate Republicans, Bush and Cheney signed off on the idea. "Gradually," Wolf told me, "they came to see the merit of it." 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Working with a quartet of think tanks--the US Institute of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy--Baker and Hamilton recruited a star-studded task force, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans include Robert M Gates, the former CIA director; and Edwin Meese III, attorney general under President Reagan. The Democrats are William Perry, President Clinton's secretary of defense; Since April, operating almost entirely under the radar, the task force has spawned four working groups, recruiting scores of US experts on Iraq and the Middle East to look at military and security issues, Iraqi politics, reconstruction, and the regional and strategic environment surrounding the war. Among the participants in these working groups are former ambassadors and State Department officials, intelligence officers from the CIA and other parts of the US intelligence community, and think-tank denizens from the RAND Corporation, the Nixon Center, the Henry L Stimson Center, the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Middle East Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, and others, along with a panel of retired military officers: three army generals, an air-force general, and an admiral. But according to all accounts, the Iraq Study Group is Baker's show, with the assembled cast of characters there to give Baker the bipartisan, protective coloration he needs. "Jim Baker is the gatekeeper," one task-force participant told me, insisting on anonymity. "He's by far the most dynamic, and everyone else is intimidated by him." "He's very secretive, he keeps his distance, and he compartmentalizes everything, which is not a b...
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Video-QT I applaud our fearless leader and his attempt to clamp down on the treaso nous and very dangerous Quakers. I was almost sucked into their evil cul t and heinous plot to demonstrate against this war that was cooked up in Lake Worth when I visited my father last year in West Palm Beach. You c an't tell a book by it's cover and these elderly, harmless looking bingo players are much more dangerous than they appear. Vi deo-QT (hat tip David for headline and video) Condi's stop was not in a classified venue so that they couldn't ask ques tions that called for classified answers. Jay Rosen's exce llent piece the day before about the complaints logged against Dan Froom kin's on-line column for the Washington Post. "I cannot comment," was a common response that Harris fell back on to mos t of DeLong's questions. Brad's conclusion was: "My belief--but since he won't answer the questions, I do not know--is that John Harris knew full well that Patrick Ruffini was a onetime Repub lican operative when he characterized him as a "conservative weblogger" to Jay Rosen, but was trying to pull a fast one... read on" Harris sounded like he was on a Law & Order episode and was told to keep his mouth shut by his attorney. How can he not be able to answer a rather simple question- whether he knew Patrick Ruf fini had been a Republican campaign operative in 2004? But what really separates Fox from the competition is its unab ashed use of religion as a divisive weapon. Common sense -- and common c ourtesy -- have long dictated that personal religious beliefs be kept ou t of news reporting unless the story at hand involves religion. But on F ox, it's not uncommon for an anchor to raise the issue of a guest's reli gion, or lack thereof, a propos of nothing... USATODAY story that says: "A $300 million P entagon psychological warfare operation includes plans for placing pro-A merican messages in foreign media outlets without disclosing the US go vernment as the source." Is it acceptable behaviour that the US pays jou rnalists to plant stories in the foreign media? There is a lot of misinformation, there's a lot of rumors, a lot of out right lies out there. We still co nfront myths about September 11th, that crop up all over the world... All the myths seem to be spread around by the administration. link "The fact is, all the intelligence sources and elected officials in both parties did believe there was WMD in Iraq . It seems hard to imagine tha t the press could easily counter that." Link "I'm confident the president knows who the source is," N ovak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is." Frist was on with Harry Smith from the CBS Early Show, and got a spanking over Iraq. Instead of answering his question, Frist pulls out some " Mehlman," talking points. Vid eo-WMP QT coming Smith: Mr Frist, Mr Frist, there were no terrorists in Iraq to begin wit h It is now a haven for terrorists. Frist: You-you can look to the past and the democrats want to go back and try and live through the past and say what if-and the intelligence wasn 't accurate-and let's cut and run... Fineman whacks Woodward Fineman whacks Woodward "Howard Fineman, Newsweek's chief political correspondent, said Monda y night in the first program of a Drew University lecture series, that W ashington Post journalist Bob Woodward had become a "court stenographer" for the Bush administration... FiredogLake: "This flap is brought to you courtesy of the Republica n Party, who will not stand to see itself criticized by a major media ou tlet without seeking to take down the one who is doing so. Harris's past as one of the people who hijacked the natio n and started speaking in tongues over rumors of penis-shaped ornaments on the Clinton Christmas tree, this is hardly surprising.... I got to the point today when my NY "street talk" almost got the best o f me and made it's way onto C&L, after I found out about this one. I sho uld re-phrase my headline and say that they have already bought a number of these supposedly neutral reporters and Corporations to do their dirt y work already. Texas prosecutor has issued subpoenas for bank records and other inf ormation of a defense contractor involved in the bribery case of a Calif ornia congressman as part of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. District Attorney Ronnie Earle issued subpoenas late Monday afternoon for California businessmen Brent Wilkes and Max Gelwix, records of Perfect Wave Technologies LLC, Wilkes Corp. in connection with a c ontribution to a fundraising committee at the center of the investigatio n that led to DeLay's indictment on money laundering charges... Imus yesterday, really took a shot at his industry: (loose transcript) Imus: "The Woodward thing has kinda disappeared-isn't it?" Tom: "Now we have the reporter from TIME magazine-(Vi veca) who has gone on leave- Imus: "Oh,, tell me about this." every other week it seems there's another reporter who on the one hand is playing insider footsie with participants in this scandal and then not telling either the reade rs, the customers, or the editors about what you've done and it just mys tifies me. Umm-except for the observation that some in, in my business r eally do seem to relish this role or this fictitious role of insider-ahh h-and, and in the process we forget what we're supposed to do-write what people say in our notebook-and type it up and give it to the boss." Video-QT Tom gets it and is very frustrated at how members of the press have been so deeply involved in the Valerie Plame case. For anyone to still defend Viveca Novak over leaking information to her friend-Rove's attorney-is ludicrous. Digby have to say: " Although Corn expends a great deal of energy lighting up the straw m an, I haven't seen anyone accusing her of being a right wing operative. "Pushing back" shouldn't include exposing her colleague Matt Cooper's source to a thir d party-- Lawrence O'Donnell knew and kept it secret for months because he didn't want to be subpoenaed and God knows how many other people knew it and passed it on to other privileged insiders or kept it to themselv es for selfish reasons. Can't reporters like Corn understand why we poor hapless rubes out here in the hinterlands (not to mention the Justice d epartment) find their shrieking for the last year and half about the san ctity of the confidential source just a little bit self-serving? agree: "Generally, "straight reporters" should not appear in the same discussi ons with the ideological pundits. I have no idea why producers and edito rs let them do so... WNEW-TV5: "Syndicated controversial talk show host Bill O'Reilly said on his radio show: "In Saginaw , Michigan , the township opposes red and green clothi ngon Anyone, In Saginaw Township they basically said anybody, we don't w ant you wearing red or green. I would dress up from head to toe in red t o green if I were in Saginaw Michigan "-Bill O'Reilly. WNEM TV-5 Talked to Saginaw Township supervisor Tim Braun who says O'Reilly's comments ar e flat out not true. Braun goes on to say the township hall has red and green Christmas lights adorning the building at night. On December 12th the Fox News Channel which broadcasts O'Reilly's Cable T V show-The O'Reilly Factor told TV5 it was a radio issue and had nothin g to do with the Fox News Channel. TV5 is contacting O'Reilly's radio pr oducers for their side of the story. democrats continues: "What neither party has done-until now-is inject the idea that the other party is undermining our troops overseas. The RNC is pimping a mute and unnamed soldier not just to defend the Iraq war but to imply that Democ rats are white-handkerchief-waving cowards who want the United States to lose.... On the video itself: "It goes almost without saying that some of the quotes from Democrats are taken out of c ontext in a way that completely distorts their meanings." More was revealed on Hardball today than any of us would have thought pos sible about Vivac, Luskin, Hadley and Rove if true. Special guest stars Jim VandeHei and Nora...