Friday, July 27, 2007

Gunny Highway, Colonel Shaw and Private Peter Pan

The Master Blogger Digby has an excellent post on the 101st Fighting Keyboarders attempt to demonize an Iraqi Veteran who did not conform to their version of reality
    I hear so much from the right about how they love the troops. But they don't seem to love the actual human beings who wear the uniform, they love those little GI Joe dolls they played with as children which they could dress up in little costumes and contort into pretzels for their fun and amusement. If they loved the actual troops they wouldn't require them to be like two dimensional John Wayne's, withholding their real experiences and feelings for fear that a virtual armchair lynch mob would come after them.
This was a major point of a minor B movie in the career of Clint Eastwood titled Heartbreak Ridge (although Roger E seemed to like it). Beyond the profanity, minor nudity and major fight scenes, a single theme dominated the picture: WAR IS NOT A GAME! IT IS SERIOUS BUSINESS AND IT IS HELL!

    Highway: You're dead marine, you just got your legs blown off and we'll hafta send out a search party for your testicles. Where's your cover?
    [They indicate Profile who waves to them]
    Highway: What the hell are ya doin' back there? Without any cover fire I'll get my ass shot off! While the rest of you are pumpin' the neighbors dog we'll get every swinging dick in this platoon killed!
This would be emphasized in a different way in the 1990 A picture Glory. Like Gunny Highway , Colonel Shaw learned that war was Serious Business:
    Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Sgt. Mulcahy!
    Sgt. Mulcahy: Sir!
    Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I have no doubt you a fair man, Mulcahy. I wonder if you are treating the men a little hard.
    [Sgt. Mulcahy pauses]
    Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You may speak freely.
    Sgt. Mulcahy: The boy is a friend of yours, is he?
    Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Yes, we grew up together
    Sgt. Mulcahy: Let him grow up some more.
Highway, Mulcahy and Shaw had this funny idea that they did not want their men to die. And they also knew that war was a thing to be avoided, not some stupid way to prove your manhood:
    Colonel Meyers: How are your men doing Major?
    Major Malcom Powers: My men are ready to fight to the death to Protect our country.

    Colonel Meyers: Well let's hope that won't be necessary.
This can not be overstated. 20 years in the Army (where I was lucky to avoid 2 wars and 5 police actions) and I saw a bunch of these Rambo wannabes that seem to think war was some form of romantic adventure (they obviously missed the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Media Cheerleaders and the Clueless Cheaters

What I find most amazing about my Republican brothers and sisters is that they constantly break Heinlein's 11th Commandment. I mean politics aside, shouldn't you take extra precautions if you know what you are doing is illegal, immoral, or embarrassing? No one is that stupid, are they? What's the deal?

After the Corporate Media's™ complicity in the witch hunt against our last elected President was exposed, progressives (and perhaps a large percentage of the American Public) have long since accepted that these stenographers are no longer independent. With the exception of Keith, Bill, Jon, Stephen and occasionally Jack, any broadcast news will not be an investigation to determine the truth but a recitation of Republican/Conservative/Bidness talking points.

Furthermore, the message put out by this infotainment industry is carefully crafted so that even when a disastrous policy has been documented by the World media and even if it is clear President George W Bush and his 2nd VP Richard Cheney were responsible for the clusterf-ck, the media-whores will blame every one else except those who are responsible (Democrats are a favorite target).

Okay Commander, we already know this. What is your point?

The recent revelations of chicanery at the Office of Drug Control Policy:
    White House Had Drug Officials Appear with GOP Candidates
    Michael A. Fletcher
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, July 18, 2007; Page A08

    White House officials arranged for top officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help as many as 18 vulnerable Republican congressmen by making appearances and sometimes announcing new federal grants in the lawmakers' districts in the months leading up to the November 2006 elections, a Democratic lawmaker said yesterday.

The office of the Surgeon General:
    The Doctor Who Didn't Know When to Quit
    Richard Cohen
    Tuesday, July 17, 2007; Page A19

    …He simply departed from the administration when his four-year term was up and said nothing about how he had been maneuvered and micromanaged -- until last week, when he told (almost) all to a congressional committee. Only then did we learn that it was suggested that whenever Carmona gave an official speech, he should mention the president at least three times a page. He declined. He was also ordered not to talk about controversial matters -- stem cell research, sexual abstinence, contraception, etc. He complied. A report on global health was withheld for political reasons.
And the General Services Administration:
    GSA Chief Violated Hatch Act, Special Counsel's Report Alleges
    Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott Higham
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Thursday, May 24, 2007; 1:26 PM

    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the federal Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could "help our candidates" win the next election, according to a report by the office.
present an almost unimpeachable case that the Republican Party in the early 21st Century knew the following:

  • Even in the so called “Red States” the RNC could not get a majority elected with out breaking the law (cheating).

  • The RNC was absolutely certain that the above named Corporate Media™ would not investigate these violations (they still won’t).

  • Because of the first two points, the RNC saw no reason to hide the evidence

  • The R’s were actually shocked that the D’s flipped the House and even more amazed that they took the Senate. Even in the last few weeks before the November elections the R’s were convinced that the various illegal and immoral activities from caging to voter fraud scams to out and out bribery would suppress enough votes to allow the R’s to maintain control (truth be told, even your old Sarge was surprised at the outcome).

    It is the only reason why the Bush Administration finds itself unprepared for the multiple investigations currently underway in Congress; they truly believed that in the last two years they would still be dealing with rubber stamp Republicans (of course the clueless Beltway Pundits say that this is a bad idea).

    Life is so unfair.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    This President is not like Any of his Predecessors

      House Panel Rejects Bush Privilege Claim
      Jul 12, 5:33 PM (ET)
      ...Legal scholars said the issue of Miers' immunity is far from clear-cut. No president has gone as far as mounting a court fight to keep his aides from testifying on Capitol Hill.
    Thus was the headlines from the AP this evening. The Flight Suit in Chief believes that he does not have to suffer these fools from Congress. Oversight is for wimps. He has a mandate from The L-rd to follow his destiny. He believes he is right (reality has no place in Bush World)

    The experts on Constitutional law, brilliant as they may be; do not understand Jerusalem syndrome that infects the mind of our leader.

    I will bet a months pay that Commander Codpiece will once again break precedent and push this all the way to the Supremo's, assuming the D's have the cohones to push this all the way and not back down.

    Friday, July 6, 2007

    Did David Shuster Pull a Fox Noise Attack on his Guest?

    Since the Commander values journalism instead of stenography I normally do not tune into MSNBC's Hardball. But while channel surfing I noticed that David Shuster was substituting for Tweety, so I paused to listen. His guest was Fouad Ajami

    Short version: Shuster ripped the neocon apologist a 2nd asshole. He refused to allow the Professor to get away with half-truths (sample statement FA: Richard Armatiage was the leaker in the CIA Case. DS: It came out at trial that 7 different people talked with Scooter Libby about Plames identity) and whole lies (sample statement FA: The attacks of 9/11 and the terrorist trail preceded the Iraq war. DS: I am not going to let you end this with the idea that Iraq was part of 9/11) while attempting to justify his statement that Libby the perjurer was the equivalent of a fallen US soldier in Iraq because he is an "authority".

    However, one thought did bother me after reading the comments section of Crooks and Liars for this post:

      16 throwthembows Says:That was kinda hard to watch. I don’t think it was a very honest debate. I don’t agree with anything this jerk-off has to say, but the interview was Fox News-ish in its execution.
    Because I am committed to excellence in Journalism (see Murrow, Edward R) regardless of Party affiliation, this question deserves thoughtful analysis. And my conclusion is no, it is not Fox News-ish. Mr. Shuster is not reading a script or repeating Republican or even Democratic talking points. He is simply

  • Holding Proffessor Ajami accountable for statements he has made, statements that are patently false.

  • Refusing to allow Proffessor Ajami accountable to change the subject in order to avoid answering these outlandish statements (Clinton did it defense).

  • Refusing to allow Proffessor Ajami to get all self righteous just because his authority was called in question.

    In short, David Shuster was being a Journalist, not a stenographer. He was investigating and if necessary instantly correcting the Professors mendacity's. He refused to play the Fox News game of two sides to every issue.

    There are not two sides if one side is lyng. And it is not liberal bias when a journalist calls them on a lie. It is reporting the facts.
  • Tuesday, July 3, 2007

    The Godfather named Cheney

    As I recently stated in my last post, there is a reluctance (or maybe a desire) for the MSM to refuse to believe that the Cheney Administration acts like the Terminator to protect it's existence. The announcement yesterday that the Acting President Bush has commuted the sentence of "Scooter" Libby comes as a surprise to no one familiar with this administration.

    The "why" Libby was pardon is easily answered, most eloquently by Ambassador Joe Wilson on NPR:
      Wilson told NPR that he is not surprised President Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence. Noting that President Bush does not give pardons or clemency lightly, Wilson suggested there may be a quid pro quo exchange for commuting Libby's sentence — and that it should be challenged.

      "Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president himself is a participant in the obstruction of justice," Wilson said, urging that it examine the text of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
    Okay, those of us in the reality based community know that this is the only reason Commander Codpiece commuted Libby's sentence, he new where the body's were buried. Up until the last minute, bush/CHENEY were hoping that their pet Judge David Sentelle (a protegee of North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms) on the DC Circuit would keep their boy out of jail until Bush could pardon him in his last month of office (see Bush Senior Iran Contra pardons). Not gonna happen:
      As an appellate judge, Sentelle voted to overturn the convictions of Iran-Contra figures Oliver North and John Poindexter and orchestrated the appointment of Kenneth Starr to investigate Whitewater. If Libby was ever to find a sympathetic ear on the Court of Appeals, David Sentelle would have been his man.

      Here is what Sentelle and his colleagues had to say this morning about Scooter Libby: "Appellant has not shown that [his] appeal raises a substantial question ... one that is 'close' or that 'could very well be decided the other way.'"
    Suddenly the Conservative Lapdog Judge gets a streak of righteousness. Did I just see pigs in the air with wings on them. Damn.

    Okay, what to do. Despite Godfather Cheney's proficiency (or lack thereof) with a shotgun, another hunting accident involving Scooter would probably be too much for even the media whores to swallow. Nor could they risk pulling a Jimmy Hoffa special, as tempting as that may have been. The only possible answer was to keep the conviction but render it toothless. A $250,000 fine is chump change to these fools. Loss of a law license? Only until December 2008 when Bush pardons the perjuring bastard. Bottom line, Libby stays out of jail and does not spill the beans to Patrick Fitzgerald, a man so f-cking honest he would report his own mother if she did something illegal.

    In the next few months the right wing noise machine will push three talking points, and the lapdog press will greedily slurp it up:
    Those of us who still believe what goes around comes around can only hope this is not the end.