Sunday, August 19, 2007

Liddy Cites

From The Clothes Have No Emperor, pg 149:

Promoting his appearance in the movie When Nature Calls, G. Gordon Liddy says the story about him eating rats as a child "has grown way out of proportion." Explains Liddy, "I only ate the left hind quarter. Of one rat."

From the same book, pg 195:

Convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy begins a week-long stint as celebrity guest on Super Password.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Know Your Wingnut Taxonomy: Dickheads

Until George W. Bush, Richard Nixon was rightly known as the worst President ever. But Dubya didn't climb to the height of infamy on his own, oh no: he was helped considerably by people, Dickheads, who started in or served with Dirty Dick's organization. In other words, it took the influence of the Master himself, through the Dickheads, to put Dear Leader George over the top. Put still another way, Bushism is Nixonism gone feral.

Dickheads are everywhere! Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were veterans of the Nixon regime and its Mark II version, the Ford administration. Karl Rove as a lad learned his dark craft at the knee of Nixon's Lord of Dirty Tricks, Donald Segretti. Lucianne Goldberg, a Nixonite mole in George McGovern's campaign entourage, now runs a pro-Bush internet echo-chamber (and, of course, she is known as the thing that shat noted Bush cultist Doughy Pantload into the world). G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate burglar, Hitler-lover, and would-be assassin of journalists, brags on television about the size of Bush's penis. Chuck Colson, author of Nixon's shit list and eventual Watergate felon, went on to advise Bush about "faith-based" initiatives. Pat Buchanan, a Nixon speechwriter, opposed Bush's crusade in Mesopotamia but endorsed him for president. William Safire, another Nixon speechwriter, used his pulpit in the New York Times to cheer Bush's every move. Henry Kissinger, Nixon's Secretary of State and fellow war criminal, advises Bush on foreign policy. Ben Stein, yet another Nixon speechwriter, pontificates on the virtues of Dear Leader in the virtual pages of the American Spectator.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Super Wingnut: Rich Lowry

Wingnut: Rich Lowry

Classification: Jingo

Affinities/Attributes: Chickenhawkery, dishonesty, contrived machismo, utter and spectacular wrongness.

After seeing so many of these blow-dried, fratboy type wingnuts on television, seeing their names in the bylines to hundreds of offensive, irrational columns, I wondered: Could any one of them really be as insanely awful as he seems at first glance? Could he really be that bad? I decided to find out. Picking Rich Lowry, more or less at random, as my target subject, I set to work analyzing Lowry's entire oeuvre. The result, I feel, not only demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that Lowry is a particularly loathsome public figure, but also indicts the rancid ideology he advocates.
Read more »

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Know Your Wingnut Taxonomy: Jingoes

"War is the force that gives them strength..." You know the litany. War-mongering as the highest virtue has always been a conviction of wingnuts, but in the current War on Terra climate, it's the overriding conviction among them, and shared unanimously.

In their hierarchy of values, the cause of war is that to which all other concerns are subordinate.

Their ultimate aim is the Freikorpsization of American society; their main tactic is to inculcate fear and hatred among the populace; they are always searching for a new enemy to demonize so that a "long war" may be manufactured or an existing or incidental small war may be inflamed into a crusade.

Like all proto- or crypto-fascist movements, masculinity is made a political fetish and the leader who best demagogues for war is the leader who is endowed with a Cult-like following and who is also and invariably designated the "most manly".

All wingnuts, more or less, are like this. But some make it their specialty. Such notable jingoes include Max Boot, Rich Lowry, and Marshall Whittman.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Somebody Had To Say It

And I'm glad it fell to Atrios, so a huge amount of people could read it:

Christ, Focus On The Record

Not having seen it I offer up no opinion on what Richardson did or should have said, and I don't offer this up as any kind of defense.

But in general terms, focusing on the record is something we should do more instead of trying to divine what's in the souls of candidates. There are reasons for doing the latter, as past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but ultimately it doesn't really matter what politicians think about things deep in their hearts. Bill Richardson can think (not saying he does) that homosexuality is an abomination which will be punished by an eternity in hell, as long as he's pushing for policies which provide gays and lesbians with equal rights.

-Atrios 05:08

I don't remember people freaking out over Kerry -- or Mario Cuomo, for that matter -- saying he personally thought abortion was wrong. It didn't matter. His policies were what mattered, and they were gonna be pro-choice. This silly push for perfection by certain folks in the LGBT movement is going to drive away people who are otherwise sympathetic to their cause. I agree that Richarson is wrong for believing what he does, but who gives a shit? As long as his policies are right, what he believes ont he nature and origin of homosexuality doesn't really matter unless you're such a purist you make it matter.

Once again, Over-invested Identity Politics.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Truth From Unsavory Sources


Iran promises security help for Iraq

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 9, 11:01 AM ET

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian officials told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday that they were doing everything they could to help stabilize his nation, but only a U.S. pullout would bring true peace.

Al-Maliki's three-day trip is aimed at enlisting Iranian help in calming Iraq's turmoil. The Bush administration wants the U.S.-backed Shiite leader to use his close ties with predominantly Shiite Iran to help end what they call Tehran's support for militia that attack American soldiers and Sunni civilians in Iraq.

But the first two days appeared to bring no concessions from America's greatest rival in the region. Instead, Iranian officials used the spotlight to decry American involvement in Iraq, and promote their increasingly close ties to al-Maliki's government.

"Establishment of peace and tranquility in Iraq depends on withdrawal of occupiers and their avoidance of interfering in Iraq," Vice President Parviz Davoodi told reporters after talks with al-Maliki, who was expected to meet later in the day with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iraqi officials have not said whether al-Maliki is pressing Iran on the claims, which his government has only partially backed, saying it doesn't rule out an Iranian role in the attacks.

Iran has denied the charges, most recently on Thursday at a gathering in Damascus, Syria, of officials from Iraq and its neighbors, as well as the United States and other countries.

"There is no evidence on this subject. We have held talks with the Americans in Baghdad aimed at helping the Iraqi government and people. ... We are serious about this issue," said Mohammad Firouznia, the head of the Iranian delegation to the gathering.

In their meetings with al-Maliki, Iranian officials also promised their support for Iraq's security.

"We hope we can achieve stability in Iraq, because we believe security in Iraq will ensure the same for Iran and the region," Davoodi said. "Iran is sparing no efforts to achieve political and security stability in Iraq."

But they made clear in the talks that U.S. forces should go, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

"The United States won't get out of the complex situation it has created for itself in Iraq unless it corrects its policies," Mottaki said, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA. He said that when Iraqi forces run security instead of the Americans, "one can be hopeful that effective steps will be taken and that one can be hopeful of talks in the future."

On Wednesday evening, al-Maliki had a warm meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, walking hand-in-hand with him into an ornate meeting room.

Ahmadinejad described the current situation as "very sensitive," IRNA said. "Iran and Iraq have a heavy responsibility for establishing peace and security in the region," he said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, said Ahmadinejad had expressed support for continuing talks between Iranian and American officials in Baghdad about stabilizing Iraq.

"We understood from the (Iranian) president that there is a real desire to continue this dialogue and especially on the borders issue," Zebari said, referring to cross-border movement of militants.

Iraqi and Iranian officials also sought to increase economic ties between the two country, which already have been growing.

Under some of the deals being worked on, Iran would build a power station in the Shiite Sadr City enclave and supply Iraq directly with electricity. Iran would also provide 400,000 tons of kerosene and liquid gas this year.

Sadr City has been the scene of fierce fighting between the U.S. and Shiite militants, most recently on Wednesday, when U.S. aircraft and soldiers attacked Shiite militia bomb makers accused of links to Iran. The U.S. military said 32 suspected militants were killed and 12 were captured.

The strike in Sadr City sought to target a ring believed to be smuggling armor-piercing roadside bombs from Iran. The precision-crafted explosives have become a growing threat to American troops.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saving A Classic "Gotcha"

Webarchive contains most of Billmon's oeuvre with the exception of some of the last posts he wrote before his site died. The following is one such post, which I want to save for posterity:

A Problem With Pronouns

In their distrust of the mainstream media, their defensiveness over President Bush and the war, and their understandable urge to buck up the nation's will, many conservatives lost touch with reality on Iraq. They thought that they were contributing to our success, but they were only helping to forestall a cold look at conditions there and the change in strategy and tactics that would be dictated by it.

National Review editor Rich Lowry
When the Media's Right
December 19, 2006


It is time to say it unequivocally: We are winning in Iraq . . . Even as there has been a steady diet of bad news about Iraq in the media over the last year, even as some hawks have bailed on the war in despair, even as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has become everyone's whipping boy, the U.S. military has been regaining the strategic upper hand.

National Review editor Rich Lowry
What Went Right
April 27, 2005

Split personality disorder can be a terrible thing.
Posted by billmon at 10:55 AM

Thank God for John Edwards

Edwards jabs at former President Clinton:

By AMY LORENTZEN, Associated Press Writer 26 minutes ago

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Monday criticized former President Clinton, arguing that he allowed corporate insiders to shape the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement that has cost U.S. jobs.

Edwards' complaints about the former president beloved by voters in his own party was a defiant move meant to highlight rival Hillary Rodham Clinton's relationship with special interests. It comes two days after Clinton refused Edwards' challenge to stop taking campaign donations from lobbyists, saying many represent good causes.

"It's time that the president stood up and fought for American workers," Edwards told a crowd of about 300 people at a union hall in Cedar Rapids. "It's time to have a president that always puts the interests of the American people first."

While Edwards' speech did not mention the name Clinton, the object of his complaint was obvious. Edwards criticized the presidential leadership during the 1993 passage of NAFTA, which was started by President George H.W. Bush and pushed through by Clinton. He said the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada was "written by insiders in all three countries."

Edwards said the policies of President George W. Bush have devastated towns and communities all across America, but "this is not just his doing."

"For far too long, presidents from both parties have entered into trade agreements, agreements like NAFTA, promising that they would create millions of new jobs and enrich communities," he said. "Instead, too many of these agreements have cost jobs and devastated towns and communities across this country."

Edwards' remarks come a day before he will share a stage with Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates at an AFL-CIO forum in Chicago in which the White House hopefuls will make their appeal to labor.

Edwards said the trade deal "did not serve the interests of regular workers. It included unprecedented rights for corporate investors, but no labor or environmental protections in the core text. And over the past 15 years, we have seen the growing inequality in the United States, and Mexico and in Canada."

Edwards used the campaign appearance to offer his trade proposals. The 2004 vice presidential nominee said the economy is growing and productivity is at an all-time high, but wages aren't keeping pace with the increased costs of education, health care and retirement. He blamed technological change and globalization, as well as outdated labor and workplace laws for a system that is benefiting the wealthiest and shortchanging workers.

"Trade has become a bad word for working Americans for a very simple reason — it's because our trade policies have been bad for working Americans," he said.

Edwards said his plan would:

• Require pro-worker provisions in new deals.

• Hold trade partners to their commitments.

• Invest more in dislocated workers and communities.

• Ensure that imports are safe

This is great stuff, long overdue. Finally, a populist. But I'm sure Edwards's plan will be subject to a frenzied jihad by the likes of Brad DeLong, who'll do the wingnuts' work for them.