Thursday, July 31, 2003

Muddy Thinking, but Clearly Conservative

If you’re looking for a peek into the Right-Wing mind, and don’t have the stomach for a trip to the Free Republic, you might be interested in checking out John McIntyre and Tom Bevan who run John is so hooked on the Koolaid he makes Tom look like a flaming liberal-- okay, "liberal" isn't really the right word (and I'm sure John hates that I used the word flaming). Reading McIntyre, one get’s the impression that if Bush told him he had a 180 IQ he'd say, "Gee, Sir, I thought it was 200." Tom, on the other hand, would at least claim to understand why others might think it was only 175.

Here’s a recent sample of John:

I thought the President did a very good job in his press conference yesterday. His answer to a question on homosexuality was perfect:

“Yes, I am mindful that we're all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own. I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country. On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage….. “

This may not satisfy the New York Times or Andrew Sullivan, but it perfectly describes the attitudes of a vast majority of Americans towards homosexuality. Bush makes it very clear that we as a nation need to respect each individual and the importance that we be a welcoming country.

Apparently John agrees with Bush, that telling someone that he or she is a depraved sinner with limited rights, “but what the hell, I sinned once myself,” constitutes “respect for the individual.” Maybe if Orwell were writing the script.

John on 2004:

We are still threatened and the county is aware that we are still threatened. We're on the hunt, and the country wants to be on the hunt. And in the first presidential election post 9/11 the Democrats won't stand a chance unless their nominee is willing to go on that hunt with the same zeal as President Bush.

John loves a zealous hunter.

Their own commentary aside, they do have a daily collection of links to commentary/editiorials, mostly conservative, that is sometimes interesting to peruse. And during the last election, although slanted, they did a good job posting polling data in a variety of races. Just don’t drink the koolaid.

Where are anti-miscegenation laws on the roadmap?

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's parliament on Thursday passed a new law that would force Palestinians who marry Israelis to live separate lives or move out of Israel despite charges from human rights groups and Israeli Arabs that the law is racist.

Powell to join WWF

Powell: Saddam Is 'Piece of Trash' to Be Collected
Wed July 30, 2003 03:11 PM ET

By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday called former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein "a piece of trash waiting to be collected" but declined to say how long it may take U.S. forces to find him.

Colin's sounding like a neanderthal-- I mean neocon.

Disclaimer: I know Saddam is a very bad guy. You just don't usually hear this type of characterization from your Diplomat-in-Chief. That's what we've come to expect from our Commander-in-Chief

Your tax dollars at work

Since these guys were so hated, don't you think we could have gotten info on them for no more than $5 million?

Powell OKs $30 Million Reward for Iraqi Informant

Thu July 31, 2003 01:47 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday approved a $30 million reward to the person who led U.S. forces to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay, the State Department said.

The United States speeded up the approval process, which usually takes months, to encourage Iraqis to provide information about Saddam himself, who lost power to U.S. forces in April and remains on the run.

The United States is offering up to $25 million for information on the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein....

The reward, $15 million for each of the two men, would be the largest ever paid by the United States under its Rewards for Justice program, the spokesman added.

Under the program, people who give information to the United States are eligible for relocation to the United States and help with immigration. But the spokesman declined to say whether the recipient had left or would leave Iraq.

He also declined to say how the payment would be made.

"That remains to be worked out with the individual in his choice of denominations or transfers," he said.

According to the Rewards for Justice Web site, in the past nine years the United States has paid more than $9.75 million to 24 people who provided information that put "terrorists" behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism.


How much for Ali?

Saddam's youngest son, Ali, born in the 1980s to his second wife, Samira Shabandar, is believed to be in Switzerland.

Egg on face update

��An earlier p��������ost passionately, and erroneously, cited the significance of this finding in the latest Zogby poll:

A plurality (48%) says they dislike the President as a person, compared to 38% who say they like him, while 14% are not sure.

When initially reading through the results I failed to realized that all the results, not just the ranking of the Dem candidates, were based solely on Democratic likely voters. Not so shocking afterall. Apologies.

Otherwise, my assessment in that post stands.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

You know, we don't really mind if you make it up

I'm sure we'll beat the truth out of these guys eventually.

Despite vigorous efforts, the U.S. government has been unsuccessful so far in finding key senior Iraqi scientists to support its prewar claims that former president Saddam Hussein was pursuing an aggressive program to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, according to senior administration officials and members of Congress who have been briefed recently on the subject.

The sources said four senior scientists and more than a dozen at lower levels who worked for the Iraqi government have been interviewed by U.S. officials under the direction of the CIA. Some scientists have been arrested and held for months, others have made deals in return for information and at least one has agreed to be interviewed outside Iraq.

No matter the circumstances, all of the scientists interviewed have denied that Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program or developed and hidden chemical or biological weapons since United Nations inspectors left in 1998. Several key Iraqi officials questioned the significance of evidence cited by the Bush administration to suggest that Hussein was stepping up efforts to develop new weapons of mass destruction programs.

A son's revenge?

Ron Reagan: Talk show host?

On Monday, July 28, Ron Reagan started a week-long run as guest co-host on MSNBC’s Buchanan & Press, with the son of the former President sitting decidedly to the left of Pat Buchanan. But Mr. Reagan was doing more than just filling the seat of vacationing co-host Bill Press; he told The Observer that he hopes to anchor his own liberal-leaning talk show. ...

"I’d love to do another talk show, and I’m talking to some other people about that," he said following his Buchanan & Press appearance. "I’m still in the planning stages, and I think there’s a lot of room for this. Despite this supposed ‘liberal bias’ in the media, I can hardly find any on TV."...

"People think that there aren’t many good liberals out there that can carry a show," said Ms. Haddad. "We had dinner together and I thought, ‘This guy is so good, he should be on TV.’ I’m sure he’ll get offers after this. Let’s hope he talks to MSNBC first."

MSNBC might want to act fast: Mr. Reagan said he was approached by two journalists associated with an "Internet entity" who were pitching, he said, an "unabashedly" liberal show to cable networks. "We’ve had the conversations, and now we’re meeting people at various media outlets," he said, adding that the proposed show is of the time-honored sit-down variety, "with the telltale, piquant little bits like ‘The Lie of the Week’ or a ‘Right-Wing Moment’—like Tom DeLay talking about teaching children about biology: ‘We evolutized up from the mud!’ O.K., we’re in trouble as a country."...

Lately, he’s been edging back into the political fray. Mr. Reagan first went on MSNBC as Mr. Buchanan’s guest in April to discuss George W. Bush. During the Iraq war, Mr. Reagan described the Bush administration as "overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive and just plain corrupt. I don’t trust these people."...

Mr. Reagan said he knew liberals aren’t known for being great TV.

"I think the bar is set higher for liberals," he said. "It’s easy to be Ann Coulter."

It may be easy, Ron, but surely it is not pleasant.

Regarding Ms. Coulter’s recent comment about Joseph McCarthy being an American patriot, for instance, Mr. Reagan said that "to dignify those remarks by refuting them takes time. Conservatives have it easy: They just blurt out some nonsense."...

Ouch! Well, who would know better than you?

Past Post Revisited: I'm sorta responsible, I guess, I mean, I did read it from the teleprompter

Prior Post from July 11, 2003: Bush: "I Just Work Here"

Read the article about Tenet’s statement, but here’s the shorthand:

Bush: "I just read what they gimme. That's what makes me a strong leader."

They asked Tenet to sign-off on a technically accurate (update: okay, it wasn't even technically accurate, and Tenet didn't actually see it) deception and he agreed. That is all his mea culpa says. The CIA didn't want to sign-off on the claim at all. They reached a compromise. But remember where Truman said the buck stopped.

Tenet said, “These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president.” Of course, Tenet did not write the speech. And he never should have been asked to be a party to the deception.

Prediction: After reading the tea leaves, Rove will have Dubya provide a rather empty, lame, too-little-too-late, "buck stops here" type statement.

Update: Finally! But it was even emptier, lamer and later than I thought it would be.

The president's taking of "personal responsibility" for the charge in his State of the Union address that Iraq sought nuclear material in Africa followed three weeks in which he allowed others on his staff and at the CIA to take the blame for including the charge, which was doubted by U.S. intelligence and was later learned to be based in part on forged documents.

…Bush since then had deflected questions about whether he took responsibility for the claim, which administration officials have alternately described as wrong and unsubstantiated.

The president amended his answer yesterday. "I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course," Bush said.

Well, of course!

Compassionate Conservatism

Asked for his "view on homosexuality," Bush replied, "I am mindful that we're all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own." But, he continued: "That does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on issues such as marriage. . . .

Dubya: "I won't judge your sinful ways, but don't 'spect a fella like me to let it get made legal!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Cheney's likeability ratings must really be in the toilet

Zogby has some new numbers out that, for the most part, may not mean a great deal. Dean’s gained, Lieberman’s slipped, neither a big surprise. Perhaps the most interesting piece of information is this:

A plurality (48%) says they dislike the President as a person, compared to 38% who say they like him, while 14% are not sure.

This, I think, is huge. Americans really want to believe in their President, especially right now. 9/11 created a great opportunity for any sitting President to muster strong support. This one did, even though many people had deep reservations about his intellect and ability.

Though they have dipped into the mid-50s recently, Bush’s approval ratings have probably said more about what we as Americans want to believe than what we deeply do believe. Bush has his hard core 35% or so that would support him even if he spit in their eye. The rest of us may have wanted him to succeed (including me), but will not give him a free ride forever (in fact, I’m done). Without 9/11 Bush’s approval rating would probably hover around 35% right now. That means 3% percent of the people who actually like him as a person, still wouldn’t approve of his performance as President.

This man is deeply vulnerable. This country remains deeply split. Bush took the American people’s good will to be his own personal entitlement and has soared to a level of hubris even his strongest detractors probably would not have dreamed. But as the dust starts to settle, American’s look at the guy and see the smug, cocky frat boy with the attitude brought about from never having to earn anything. He didn’t even have to earn his once sky-high approval rating. That came courtesy of Osama and over 3,000 dead Americans. He had a wonderful opportunity to bring us together. Most of us sincerely wanted him to. But, he just does not have it in him.

See Egg on face update Othewise, my assessment stands.

Monday, July 28, 2003

You can't make this stuff up

Priceless quote, via Dana Milbank.

"I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq." -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, July 21.

Coalition of the Billing

It's good to be able to buy friends when you need them.

The Pentagon has agreed to pay more than $200 million in airlift and support costs for a multinational peacekeeping division under Polish command that should be deployed to southern Iraq by the end of September, a senior defense official said.

Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon comptroller, said Friday that a letter of understanding signed last week with the Poles calls for the Defense Department to pay $30 million to $40 million in airlift costs for transporting most of the 9,000-member division to Iraq and about $200 million to cover meals, medical care and other support costs.

Bush has never cared to be bored with details

Bush is fond of saying how "confident" he is on almost every topic. I guess confidence is easier to feel when you decide at the outset that you (see earlier post: Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity; Uncertainty avoidance simply) won't entertain any other possibilities than what you believe to begin with. Our current problem of apparent selective attention to intelligence should come as no surprise to anyone.

While Governor of Texas ...George W. Bush [said], "I take every death penalty case seriously and review each case carefully," he said while governor of Texas.

That sounds reassuring. But a disturbing article in the July-August issue of the Atlantic Monthly suggests that Bush and his legal counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, exhibited a shocking lack of interest in the facts of the execution cases that came before them....

Before each execution -- usually on the very day of the execution -- Gov. Bush received a memo and a half-hour briefing on the case. The first 57 of those memos were prepared by Gonzales, now the White House counsel and a man frequently mentioned as Bush's choice for a seat on the Supreme Court....

"A close examination of the Gonzales memoranda suggests that Governor Bush frequently approved executions based on only the most cursory briefings on the issues in dispute," Berlow writes. "In fact, in these documents Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence."

Loyal, but not stupid

Maybe he's holding out for the VP slot.

Baker Won't Join Iraq Reconstruction

The Bush administration said yesterday that former secretary of state James A. Baker III will not join the Iraq reconstruction effort, as some administration officials had hoped.

Baker was among several prominent figures some administration officials hoped to entice into taking charge of specific tasks related to the rebuilding process, such as seeking money from other countries or restructuring Iraq's debt.

Paging Tom Ridge

Texas has another national security issue requiring the immediate attention of the Department of Homeland Security.

Texas Dems say hasta la vista

Order your "Deny Delay: In America, voters pick their congressmen. Congressmen don't get to pick their voters" shirts right here and help out the cause. Or my favorite, Texas Politics: Not for the squeamish

Sunday, July 27, 2003

An open letter to Pat Robertson

Plenty of little jewels on Pat Robertson’s website. A sampling: “Did you know that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2000 pounds! How does he do it?” Wow! 2000 pounds. I knew he was a bigot, but I didn’t know he was such a buff bigot!

One of my favorites, though, is his recent “shout out” to the Lord regarding the old and infirmed on the Supreme Court.

Operation Supreme Court Freedom

...Would you join with me and many others in crying out to our Lord to change the Court? If we fast and pray and earnestly seek God’s face, then He will hear our prayer and give us relief.

One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire? With their retirement and the appointment of conservative judges, a massive change in federal jurisprudence can take place.

We can have a court that no longer legislates from the bench the wishes of The New York Times and The Washington Post, but which will earnestly seek to interpret the Constitution as it is written and to give meaning to the centuries of moral standards which have undergirded this wonderful country called the United States of America.

Please join us in prayer to support a massive prayer offensive that we are going to call Operation Supreme Court Freedom.

My open letter to Pat:

Dear Pat:

You’re freaking me out, man! The Times and The Post are calling the shots? I wonder how the recent staff changes at the Times will effect the Court? I wonder which cases Jason Blair got to determine? Should stare decisis apply to those? And how do they get Safire and Krugman to agree? All those Con Law students wasting their time studying the writings of the justices, when they should be taking journalism courses.

I’m confused, Pat. I don’t have your theological training, but wouldn’t it be more Christian to use the power of prayer to cure the cancer and alleviate the heart condition? After all, when you had cancer surgery earlier this year, you requested prayers for your recovery, not your retirement. Maybe that’s what’s throwing me. Also, your website indicates that you’re 73. O’Connor is actually four days younger. Maybe she respects her elders and she’s waiting for you to set an example.

Another thing, Pat, you’re not being very strategic. On the same page as Operation Supreme Court Freedom the sidebar lists:

Pat’s Age Defying Oxidants

Pat’s Age Defying Shake (which I guess is not a dance move)

Pat’s Age Defying Pancakes

Age Defying Pancakes sound really cool, but what if the offended justices read your prayer for their demise, pick up on your vitality tips and just keep going, and going and going, like the energizer bunny? Heckfire, on your regimen even ‘Ol Stevens will be leg pressing 2000 pounds before long. That’s a whole ton, you know. We want regime change, Pat, not regimen change!

Of course, you’re right. God must be troubled that Texas can’t lock up gay people any more. Putting people in prison was probably the best way to prevent sodomy and now that’s out the window. I know how Jesus stressed the importance of Man’s laws and told the apostles to go forth and legislate.

I’m still amazed how many people still don’t realize that God is a conservative –loving, Republican American with no interest in curing the ailments of older, more moderate Republicans. Of course, his lack of concern for Democrats’ health is a no brainer.

Well Pat, I just want to encourage you to keep pluggin’. A man of your grace and humility is truly rare. You are only too modest on your website when you list yourself as a statesman, media pioneer, businessman and a humanitarian. This country needs more humanitarians. Especially ones with the wisdom and humility to offer the Answers to Life’s Most Challenging Questions. God bless you, Pat.

Yours in the struggle,


It's official: Conservatives are angry, craven cowards

I've often said that conservatives are marked by their fear-- fear of uncertainty, fear of change, fear of losing what one has (e.g. "way of life", inheritance) fear of people different from themselves (thus Scalia's irrational outburst regarding the utter chaos likely to be brought on by not outlawing consensual sex between adults). Now, we have some research that supports this view. Of course, the researchers are from Berkley so they will quickly be dismissed by most conservatives, but "what the heck." That doesn't scare me. Here's an excerpt:

Researchers help define what makes a political conservative

BERKELEY – Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

* Fear and aggression
* Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
* Uncertainty avoidance
* Need for cognitive closure
* Terror management

"From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin.

Clark's best chance to be President

Via the The Wesley Clark Weblog:

Ezra Klein at Not Geniuses assesses a potential Wesley Clark presidential candidacy. Klein makes some good observations, but his assessment is from the perspective of a Dean supporter. This contributes to his conclusion that Clark is positioning himself as a VP candidate, and given Klein's preferences, Dean's VP.

I agree with Dave at The Wesley Clark Weblog that Clark is not, in fact, positioning himself as a VP candidate. Contrary to Klein's assertions, the current climate is probably more conducive to a Clark presidential run than may be the case in 4 to 8 years. Contrary to what Klein suggests, being attached to a failed Dean candidacy, if it did fail, would not strengthen Clark down the road. You can only be fresh once. You can only be a non-politician agreeing to get into the fray once. This is not to say 2004 is now or never for Clark, but I do think this coming election is probably his best chance to be elected President, barring two terms as VP for a very successful President.

Clark as a VP helps Dean, or anyone, in my opinion, but it doesn't translate into taking the South any more than Bentsen helped Dukakis take the South. As a presidential candidate, Clark will be strong in the South. As a VP candidate, Clark may help this ticket take Arkansas. The time is now for a Clark candidacy. The particular challenges of these times play to his strengths.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Hope the whole truth on Iraq doesn't take this long

Former Aide Contends Nixon Ordered Burglary

Thirty years after the Senate select committee hearings on Watergate riveted the nation and doomed the Nixon presidency, a key figure in the scandal says he has a fresh and explosive revelation: Richard M. Nixon personally ordered the burglary of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex.

Jeb Stuart Magruder -- then a "callow" campaign aide, now a retired Presbyterian minister in Ohio -- says in a new documentary for PBS that he heard Nixon's voice on a telephone as the president instructed then-Attorney General John N. Mitchell to go ahead with the break-in.

Diogenes would be out of luck at the White House, but still might find a few of what he's looking for in the Senate

I have always seen Lugar as a decent, honest, straight-shooting public servant. Too bad he seems to be a dying breed. Explains his apparent disgust with the current administration, though. We'll probably never know, but my bet is that Lugar won't be able to stomach pulling the lever for Dubya next year.

Sen. Lugar Says White House Hiding Iraq Costs
Sat July 26, 2003 08:17 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration should publicly acknowledge that Iraqi rebuilding efforts will cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over the next few years, a key Senate Republican said in a radio interview on Saturday.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar of Indiana said on National Public Radio that the White House understands there is a big price tag for rebuilding Iraq. "But they do not wish to discuss that," Lugar said.

Asked by NPR whether rebuilding Iraq will cost tens of billions of dollars, Lugar responded, "Yes. We are talking about that. And that's what needs to be talked about now as opposed to one surprise after another" in funding requests to Congress.

Many Conservatives seem to Love to Hate

While traveling in Europe recently, an opinion piece by William Pfaff in the International Herald-Tribune, “Bush policy risks terminal strain in NATO”, reminded me of a comment I had gotten a few weeks earlier:


I believe you are experiencing Irrational Hatred of an Opposition Party President (IHOPP). I'm sure this phenomenon was puzzling to you during the previous administration (Why do they hate Bill? He's a great President!), unless you also considered it "a vast right-wing conspiracy".

Neither Wubya, George the First, Ronnie or Gerald is simple, stupid or moronic, although they were often derided as such. If you consider Wubya as a worthy opponent you are much more likely to defeat him. I will admit that Wubya isn't as long on public speaking skills as Mr. Blair, but clearly he is a fine leader of men.
Wince and Nod | Email | Homepage | 06.30.03 - 2:42 pm | #

Hey Wince:

Thanks for the comment and the diagnosis. I knew I hadn't been myself lately, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Must be a progressive illness, because it wasn't nearly as intense under those other guys you mentioned.

Actually, I don't think 3 out the 4 guys you mentioned were morons. We are going to have to agree to disagree, however, on Dubya's intellectual prowess and ability to lead men (presumably we are in accordance that he can't lead women). And while I may not respect Dubya on many fronts, I fully respect his puppet master Rove as a worthy opponent.
PrometheuSpeaks | Email | Homepage | 06.30.03 - 6:06 pm | #

Unlike Wince, I don’t think my grave concern over Dubya is irrational. Implicit in his/her comment, however, is an apparent admission that his hatred of Clinton was/is. Let’s try to look at a few objective facts. What would justify Wince and his/her ilk’s hatred of Clinton? Record economic growth? Converting record deficits into record surpluses? Good relationships with our allies? Reduction in crime rate? Less violent crime? More police on the streets? I guess that’s enough to piss anyone off.

My disgust with Dubya goes well beyond the fact that I have little respect for his intelligence, skills, morals or preparation for the Presidency. I see objective evidence that his actions are setting my country in a very deep hole on many fronts. It is mind boggling that we have gone from discussions of what to do with the surpluses to record deficits almost overnight. The alienation of much of the world is unprecedented. The negative view of this administration by the rest of the world is likely unprecedented. And this is from a guy who bragged ad nauseum about being a uniter, not a divider. Sure enough, he's united much of the world against us.

Silly conservatives would sometimes say that Clinton’s sexual encounters were embarrassing America around the world. Actually, most people in the Western world never understood the fuss. Clinton remains very popular in the world. Bush, on the other hand, is often seen as a close-minded, arrogant boob.

Beyond the so-called political victories, what real and certain accomplishments can Bush point to, other than his millionaire buddies pay less taxes? Of course, most of them also probably make less money.

Once Bush is gone, he’s gone. I doubt you’ll see me or many other of his detractors dedicate a tremendous amount of sustained energy to trash him, although he probably warrants a book or two. Not true for Clinton haters. They seem to hate just to hate. Check out these guys, for example:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Just a few blocks from the future site of Bill Clinton's $160 million presidential library, a couple of Clinton haters hope to open a museum devoted to mocking his presidency.

"As long as he's talking, we'll have to be here trying to keep him somewhat honest and stop him from rewriting history," says John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman from New York who rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to victory in 1980.

LeBoutillier and his partner, Houston businessman Richard Erickson, plan to call it the Counter-Clinton Library. They say the museum here and one planned for Washington will look at such topics as Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, the last-minute pardons, even damaged White House furniture.

"We already hear he's going to bring a bunch of egghead economists to his library to say how great the economy was when he was president," LeBoutillier says. "And we'll find our own who can say it had nothing to do with him."…

This is emblematic of the hatefulness, negativity and destructiveness of the far-right. I’m willing to bet that these two jokers, like Bush, consider themselves to be fine Christian folk.

Sure am glad killing Saddam's boys has eased the tension

Three U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attack Near Baghdad
Sat July 26, 2003 08:56 AM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Three U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded on Saturday in a grenade attack at a children's hospital at Baquba, 30 miles north of Baghdad, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The attack on soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division, who the spokesman said were guarding the hospital, brings to 47 the number killed by hostile fire since Washington declared an end to major combat in Iraq on May 1.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Making Daddy proud

From last fall:

And, in discussing the threat posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Bush said: "After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad."

This President is not too keen on using our troops as peacekeepers, but he doesn’t mind using them essentially as assassins to rub out particular individuals to assuage a personal grudge.

We have gone to war without real provocation, alienated our allies, continue to lose troops almost everyday in a rather hopeless quagmire and have forfeited our credibility and moral authority for the foreseeable future. We killed two lousy human beings in Mosul and may yet kill their despicable father, but the costs have been deep, far-reaching and are far from over. But at least the prodigal son finally has “accomplished” something for daddy. Kinda brings a tear to your eye, don’t it?

Strong, decisive leadership

Repeat something long enough...

After weeks of hearing from Democrats that our president invaded Iraq under exaggerated claims of weapons programs and uranium sales, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll from the end of June showed that 75 percent think Bush is a strong and decisive leader, and 65 percent think he is honest and trustworthy.

Put it to the Google test:

News: Liberia: White House 'undecided' - News24 - Jul 23, 2003
Try Google News: Search news for bush undecided on liberia or browse the latest headlines

BBC NEWS | Africa | Bush 'undecided' on Liberia
Bush 'undecided' on Liberia. Mr Bush was holding talks with the Senegalese
president. US President George W Bush has said the United ... - 40k - Cached - Similar pages

BBC NEWS | Africa | Bush 'undecided' on Liberia
Bush 'undecided' on Liberia US President George W Bush has said the United States has not yet decided whether to send peacekeepers to help end the conflict in ... 2/hi/africa/3053160.stm - Similar pages
[ More results from ]

Bush still undecided on Liberia
... Bush still undecided on Liberia 08/07/2003 15:06 - (SA) ... 0,,2-7-1505_1384534,00.html - 49k - Cached - Similar pages

Liberia: White House 'undecided'
... Liberia: White House 'undecided' 22/07/2003 20:06 - (SA) ... Washington - The Bush administration has not made a decision on whether to deploy US troops in Liberia ... 0,,2-11-1447_1391185,00.html - 37k - Jul 23, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from ]

KRT Wire | 07/21/2003 | Bush administration undecided on troops ...
... Bush administration undecided on troops ... as the White House dispatched 41 Marines on Monday to help protect the US Embassy in Liberia, the Bush ... - 43k - Jul 23, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

Liberia's Taylor agrees to go
... BUSH UNDECIDED ON TROOPS. Fleischer said Bush had not yet decided whether to send US peacekeepers to Liberia, but left open the possibility a decision could ... - 11k - Cached - Similar pages - Bush Pledges to Help in Liberia, but Still ... Bush Pledges to Help in Liberia, but Still Undecided About Sending Troops
Scott Stearns Pretoria 09 Jul 2003, 11:57 UTC US President ... news/2003/07/mil-030709-voa05.htm - 8k - Cached - Similar pages

XTRAMSN: News: World News: Liberia's Taylor Agrees To Go
... Bush Undecided On Troops Fleischer said Bush had not yet decided whether to send US peacekeepers to Liberia, but left open the possibility a decision could ...,,3772-2499516,00.html - 28k - Cached - Similar pages

Cato Daily Dispatch for July 8, 2003
... Makes Case to Reconstruct Head Start. Bush Still Undecided about Sending
Troops to Liberia. "President Bush said on Tuesday he would ... - 49k - Jul 23, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

Result Page:
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Instead of fearing Bush's "strengths," Democrats need to continually repeat the truth. Eventually, even the truth can take hold in people's minds, if they hear it enough.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Guess they are next

CRAWFORD, Tex., July 21 -- President Bush warned Syria and Iran today that they "will be held accountable" if they fail to cooperate more with the administration's campaign against terrorism.

The good news is, the Third Infantry Division may finally get to leave Iraq. The bad news...

Monday, July 21, 2003

More lies and a war that has not made us safer

More lies, although this one always seemed obvious to me even from the comfort of my couch.

Last fall, the administration repeatedly warned in public of the danger that an unprovoked Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists.

"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists," President Bush said in Cincinnati on Oct. 7. "Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints."

But declassified portions of a still-secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released Friday by the White House show that at the time of the president's speech the U.S. intelligence community judged that possibility to be unlikely. In fact, the NIE, which began circulating Oct. 2, shows the intelligence services were much more worried that Hussein might give weapons to al Qaeda terrorists if he were facing death or capture and his government was collapsing after a military attack by the United States.

"Saddam, if sufficiently desperate, might decide that only an organization such as al Qaeda, . . . already engaged in a life-or-death struggle against the United States, could perpetrate the type of terrorist attack that he would hope to conduct," one key judgment of the estimate said.

It went on to say that Hussein might decide to take the "extreme step" of assisting al Qaeda in a terrorist attack against the United States if it "would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Observations from Europe

Charlie Sheen comes off much better as an actor when he is dubbed in French.

Rolling luggage doesn't do well on cobblestones.

Saw a guitar-playing Santa in Brussell's Grand Place singing "Brown-eyed Girl" off-key and getting money for it. Lesson: If your talent is limited, have a gimmick.

If you ever get the chance, watch "Have I Got News for You on the BBC."

In a Pottery Barnesque store in Amsterdam, the "Uncle Sam Collection" was 50% off.

We've not encountered any overt anti-American sentiment. On the other hand, there is ample anti-Bush sentiment.

The graffitti is out of control. Although, the Bush graffitti I understand. :)

The Netherlands is notorious for legalizing limited amounts of marijuana and other business practices. But don't come unprepared for a head cold. Sudafed and similar decongestants are not sold in the Netherlands. As the pharmacist told me, "It is not good for you." In the land of "almost anything goes," this is what they choose to be patronizing about?

Even with the weak dollar, a cappuccino at an Amsterdam sidewalk cafe is much less than in any Starbucks in America. And better. And it comes with a cookie.

Switzerland is very expensive.

Overheard at the Grand Place in Brussells from a group of four young ladies whose shirts suggested they were members of a University of Georgia sorority:

Woman A: "Waddya wanna do?"

Woman B: "We could go to Anne Franks' house."

Yes you could. But you will need to take the train to Amsterdam, first.

How many words are we up to now?

The White House and supporting Repugs are found of saying it is "just 16 little words." No. It is a campaign of one lie after another. And Dubya can't blame this one on Tenet.

From Dana Millbank, who is worth every penny he is paid, and more.

The White House, in the run-up to war in Iraq, did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes, administration officials now say.

The claim, which has since been discredited, was made twice by President Bush, in a September Rose Garden appearance after meeting with lawmakers and in a Saturday radio address the same week. Bush attributed the claim to the British government, but in a "Global Message" issued Sept. 26 and still on the White House Web site, the White House claimed, without attribution, that Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack 45 minutes after the order is given."...

The White House embraced the claim, from a British dossier on Iraq, at the same time it began to promote the dossier's disputed claim that Iraq sought uranium in Africa.

Bush administration officials last week said the CIA was not consulted about the claim. A senior White House official did not dispute that account, saying presidential remarks such as radio addresses are typically "circulated at the staff level" within the White House only.

Virtually all of the focus on whether Bush exaggerated intelligence about Iraq's weapons ambitions has been on the credibility of a claim he made in the Jan. 28 State of the Union address about efforts to buy uranium in Africa. But an examination of other presidential remarks, which received little if any scrutiny by intelligence agencies, indicates Bush made more broad accusations on other intelligence matters related to Iraq.

For example, the same Rose Garden speech and Sept. 28 radio address that mentioned the 45-minute accusation also included blunt assertions by Bush that "there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq." This claim was highly disputed among intelligence experts; a group called Ansar al-Islam in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, who could have been in Iraq, were both believed to have al Qaeda contacts but were not themselves part of al Qaeda.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Zogby numbers not good for King George

Zogby's latest numbers indicate that the American public is becoming increasingly open to a better alternative to the current President. On almost every issue, Bush fares badly. Those who have tied their careers to Bush may soon regret it, and I'm not just talking about Tony Blair and Dennis Miller. If this continues, the congressional landscape could change much more than has been imagined up to this point.

Reducing Reliance on Foreign Oil

The East Coast office of Halliburton (i.e. The White House) would have you believe that the only way to reduce our reliance on foreign oil is to disturb pristine wilderness in Alaska. Poppycock. The only real way to reduce such reliance in both the short and long-term is to use less. This is no great mystery. If we drove what Europeans drove we could probably reduce our consumption by half. Not exactly what Big Oil has in mind.

Carter was the last President to ask for meaningful sacrifice in this regard. Under Carter, energy consumption actually dropped. It hasn't dropped since. Few politicians have the guts to take on Detroit and big oil, and that is what is needed. In fact, we now provide a tax break for gas guzzling SUVs.

Gore was assailed by Repugs in 2000 for what they called the Gore/Clinton gas tax increase of 1993. It was 4.3 cents. Of course, there was no mention of the 5 cent gas tax increases under both Reagan and Bush I. Most people don't remember that the crazy little man with the big ears from Texarkana wanted to raise the gas tax 50 cents to reduce the deficit. One of his best ideas, from an energy policy standpoint, although not necessary for Clinton to eliminate the deficit.

Earlier this month, RushLimbaughotomy had a post on the Smart Car. While the standard Smart Car would likely be hard pressed to succeed in the current American market, the new Roadsters just might. Close in size to the popular Mini Cooper, these little cars are snazzy. And as my Dutch brochure states: Het zijn niet alleen de vormen en de typerende proporties die van een auto een roadster maken maar ook een duidelijk gedefinieerde en no-nonsense uitrusting. Yeah, Baby! I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Live from Europe!

The entire PrometheusSpeaks staff is currently on a fact finding mission in Europe. Early insights include: a) lack of air conditioning is very noticeable during a record heat wave; b) European keyboards are challenging to the blogger; c) Belgians are quite proud of their beers, even though most are a tad sweet for the PS staff's tastes; d) Some Americans (although NO PS staffers) actually order Budweiser and bore Dutch waitresses with the virtues of Coors Lite, even when numerous high quality European beers are the same price, or less.

More scintillating insights to follow. We're paying by the minute here and there's no A/C. Ciao, baby.

Remember how cocky the neocons were when Saddam's statue fell?

The consistently strong Dana Millbank brings us this article: Intelligence Dispute Festers as Iraq Victory Recedes.

Among other points, these competing views are presented:

Some Democrats think the damage to Bush could go well beyond the Iraq issue. One of Bush's most valuable attributes has been his reputation for honesty and straight talking. But the controversy has caused the White House to appear slippery. In moments reminiscent of the Clinton presidency Bush and his aides have sought to parse phrases -- they have called the disputed claim "technically accurate" because it was pinned on British intelligence -- and they have said it is time to "move on," the same phrase Clinton aides used. Also, a president who came to office criticizing those who would blame others for their problems has put responsibility on the CIA and the British.

"This is most dangerous for Bush in that it erodes two of his very real and durable political strengths: his perceived competence as commander in chief and his perceived honesty," said Jim Jordan, Kerry's campaign manager.

But some political professionals dispute that Bush will lose his honest appeal. Stephen Hess, a Brookings Institution scholar who wrote speeches for President Dwight Eisenhower, said presidents have always exaggerated facts to make their cases, and the public expects it. "These are understandable," Hess said, noting that Bush retains "an umbilical cord to Main Street."

I have no idea what Hess makes, but I suspect he is overpaid.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Catch this before they take it down

Via Political Wire, the White House has a photo of Bush with the caption: "Working at his desk in the Oval Office, President Bush reviews the State of the Union address line-by-line and word-by-word."

Has Coulter withdrawn her Fatwah against college liberals?

Watch your backs, college liberals, the mistress of hate is on to your evil plan to quit school and join the Taliban, cause, hey-- that’s what liberals do.

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."
n Ann Coulter, CPAC convention, February 2002

It’s not a new quote, but with her recent book actually being bought by other humans, a little reminder about that state of America’s Right-Wing could be a good thing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Tenet: "Move over, Dirty Harry"

So we all know George Tenet has stepped forward to take "responsibility" for faulty intelligence somehow imposing itself into Dubya's SOTU address which attempted to make the case for war with Iraq. Okay. Less clear is how he was supposed to have prevented a concerted effort by the administration to include information they knew to be dubious. Imagine one scenario:

Bush is practicing his speech, making sure he can pronounce all the words. Tenet storms in, guns down four secret service men, aims his glock squarely at Dubya and says, "Mr. President, we both have taken an oath to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. That includes your disgusting little Neocon cabal bent on conquering half the planet and alienating the other half. So with all due respect, sir, step away from the speech and no one's credibility has to be hurt."

Now that is probably the kind of cowboy behavior Dubya would respect, but if he refused, would Tenet be forced to say,"Go ahead. Make my day."?

Monday, July 14, 2003

Facing Problems? Just move on.

Anybody out there facing a pending IRS audit because your tax returns simply aren't credible? Call up the IRS and tell them you "consider the matter closed." Tell them you've "moved on, and think, frankly much of the country has moved on as well." A nifty little trick. Thanks, Dubya and Ari, for the tip! If we had only known this in the '90's we could have saved about 80 million on special prosecutors. Imagine:

Reporter: "Mr. President, I have a question about Travelgate."

Clinton: "I've moved on and so should you."

Reporter: "Mr. President, perhaps you could clear up a few matters regarding Paula Jones."

Clinton: "I consider the matter closed."

Reporter: "Mr. President, do you think the third investigation into the death of your good friend Vince Foster will reveal any startling new insights?"

Clinton: "Moved on regarding that, too."

Reporter: "Don't you think the American people deserve to know whether there were improprieties regarding a 1980's land deal on which you lost money?"

Clinton: "Frankly, the country has moved past that issue."

Damn, that would have been nice.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

It takes a big man to "forgive"

Bush stands by CIA after Iraq mistake

Tenet admits error in agency's approval of president's speech

ABUJA, Nigeria (CNN) -- President Bush said Saturday that he remained confident in George Tenet after the CIA director took responsibility for the now-discredited line in the State of the Union address alleging that Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa.

The White House now says the allegations were unsubstantiated.

"I've got confidence in George Tenet, I've got confidence in the men and women who work at the CIA," Bush told reporters Saturday during an appearance with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

How touching. You can almost hear Chrissie Hynde singing, "I'll Stand by You" in the background. Hey Dubya, the question is whether men and women anywhere have confidence in you.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Calling Candidate Clark

Franklin Foer, a staff writer at the New Republic, has an opinion piece regarding the positives of a Clark candidacy in today's Washington Post. Some excerpts:

But Clark's virtues go beyond foreign policy concerns and his jacket full of medals. When he articulates mainstream Democratic issues, as he does on abortion, affirmative action and taxation, he manages to sound like a centrist maverick. In part, he benefits from a southern accent and a cool demeanor. But he also approaches politics as an outsider. This isn't to say that he is a policy ignoramus. On the contrary, he talks about domestic issues with a surprising proficiency. (He didn't finish first in his West Point class for nothing.) Clark's appeal is that he intelligently veers from traditional Democratic rhetoric to make the party's case. Take the gun issue. Instead of hemming and hawing about the Second Amendment, he says, "I have got 20-some-odd guns in the house. I like to hunt. I have grown up with guns all my life, but people who like assault weapons, they should join the United States Army -- we have them." In a flash, he could reverse the damage of 30 years of Republican culture warmongering.

Or consider taxes, on which he uses a straightforward formulation, "The American people on the one hand don't like taxes. None of us do. But, on the other hand, we expect the government to do certain things for us." When these calm explanations come out of his mouth, they sound derived from common-sense consideration, not fidelity to a party line....

Some Democratic consultants have told reporters that it's too late to draft Clark. Seven months out from the Iowa caucus, this warning doesn't make sense. At this date on the calendar 12 years ago, Clinton had barely registered in the polls. Besides, the date shouldn't be an excuse for dismissing Clark but rather a reason for the establishment to coalesce forcefully behind him.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Bush: “I just work here.”

Read the article about Tenet’s statement, but here’s the shorthand:

Bush: "I just read what they gimme. That's what makes me a strong leader."

They asked Tenet to sign-off on a technically accurate deception and he agreed. That is all his mea culpa says. The CIA didn't want to sign-off on the claim at all. They reached a compromise. But remember where Truman said the buck stopped.

Tenet said, “These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president.” Of course, Tenet did not write the speech. And he never should have been asked to be a party to the deception.

In true form, the supposedly deeply religious Pat Roberts reflects the values he holds most dear:

"What now concerns me most ... is what appears to be a campaign of press leaks by the CIA in an effort to discredit the president," Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman of the panel, said in a written statement.

Sen. Roberts is “most” concerned with the damage to Bush’s reputation—not whether that damage is deserved. Thanks for looking out for the American people, Pat.

Prediction: After reading the tea leaves, Rove will have Dubya provide a rather empty, lame, too-little-too-late, "buck stops here" type statement.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Invasion of the Truth Snatchers

Rumors that Cheney and Rumsfield have taken Colin Powell’s soul, leaving him as a mere automaton run by microchips picked up steam today when the Secretary of State shilled for the administration:

"There was no effort or attempt on the part of the president or anyone else in the administration to mislead or to deceive the American people," he told reporters traveling with Bush in Africa. "The president was presenting what seemed to be a reasonable statement at that time."

"But to think that somehow we went out of our way to insert this single sentence into the State of the Union Address for the purpose of deceiving and misleading the American people is an overdrawn, overblown, overwrought conclusion."

Reasonable to someone without any reasoning ability, perhaps. The “single sentence” claim is being heard from Republicans everywhere these days, both in and out of the administration. I heard Susan Molinari, fresh from diction lessons, make the point a few times on CNBC tonight. The meaningfulness of a statement is now apparently determined by the number of sentences used. One sentence is akin to saying nothing at all. Hell, it is only a single sentence. How can one single sentence possibly mean anything? Here are a few examples of meaningless utterances, which for all practical purposes, never occurred under the new rules:

“A government of laws, and not of men.”
John Adams

“Governments arise either out of the people or over the people.”
Tom Paine

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
John F. Kennedy

“The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is right.”
Learned Hand

“We do not profess to be the champions of liberty, and then consent to see liberty destroyed.”
Woodrow Wilson

“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”
Franklin D. Rooselvelt

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”
William Jefferson Clinton

As a result of the new rules, Clinton’s impeachment is being rescinded immediately.

Lessons in lying

(CBS) Senior administration officials tell CBS News the President’s mistaken claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was included in his State of the Union address -- despite objections from the CIA.

Before the speech was delivered, the portions dealing with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were checked with the CIA for accuracy, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it was delivered.

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,” Mr. Bush said.

The statement was technically correct, since it accurately reflected the British paper. But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true.

If I were a Republican I suppose I might refer to such behavior as Clintonesque, provided it was engaged in by a Democrat. Since it was engaged in by a Republican, I guess I would call it irrelevant.

Ever see a Republican react to this argument: When Clinton was asked, “Is there a relationship with Monica Lewinsky and he said, ‘No, there is (present tense) no relationship,’ he wasn’t technically lying.” Most right-wingers have a seizure.

There are outright lies and intentional deceptions. When Clinton said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…” it was not an outright lie (look up the definition of “sexual relations”) Nonetheless, any reasonable person will likely agree that it was an intentional deception. If one takes a principled position one has to determine when such deceptions that may walk a tightrope with the actual truth are wrong. If it is wrong in regard to a private and consensual sexual encounter, is it not at least as wrong when it is part of a concerted effort to win support for a war in which brave Americans who believe in their President will die?

Impeachment? If Bush had any self-respect (as opposed to pathological hubris) he would resign.

He may be a Flake...

"After a lot of soul searching on this, I decided I’d probably get whipped." --Rep. Jeff Flake on his decision not to run against Sen. John McCain in next year’s Republican primary in Arizona.

...but this little bit of honesty is refreshing.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Deep Inside Scoop

inventors have recently patented a new device (Parallel Conversation Device-- PCD, Patent Pending) that allows us to detect those private conversations people have with themselves while they are verbalizing other statements they believe to be more advantageous to their interests. Read below for our first deployment of this breakthrough technology.

PRETORIA (Reuters) - President Bush said on Wednesday he remained confident the Iraq war was right, even though the White House acknowledged it had been a mistake to accuse Saddam Hussein of trying to buy uranium from Niger.

"I am absolutely confident in the decision I made," said Bush, who ordered U.S.-led forces to invade Iraq on the basis of intelligence which said Saddam had or was developing weapons of mass destruction.

Bush’s parallel conversation: “Karl says be confident. Merikun people love a strong leader. What decision are we talking about, anyway? Don’t matter. I’m a confident man.”

"There's no doubt in my mind that when it's all said and done the facts will show the world the truth," Bush told a joint news conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Bush’s parallel conversation: “Karl said he’d ‘splain all this mess later. I wonder if I’m going to be able to get my run in today? Damn, the valet didn’t pack a converter and my playstation won’t work here. We need to get airborne quick.”

Asked for the first time about the uranium issue, Bush said: "There's going to be a lot of attempts to rewrite history."

Bush’s parallel conversation: “In fact, I know Karl’s got some of our boys workin’ on it right now.”

The White House has acknowledged Bush relied on now discredited information when he said in a State of the Union speech in January the Iraqi leader tried to buy uranium from the West African state of Niger for its weapons programs.

But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said on Wednesday it was "one single sentence" in a larger case against Iraq that remained valid.

Ari’s parallel conversation: “One whopping big-ass lie of a sentence, but a single sentence, nonetheless. I’m really starting to hate myself! And I don’t even have scruples! Man, I was hopin’ to be gone before this hit.”

But close U.S. ally Britain defended its own allegation that Saddam had sought uranium from Niger, saying its evidence was separate from the information used by Washington.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman said on Wednesday Britain had "different knowledge" from the United States to back up its charge, set out in Blair's September 2002 dossier on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

"Our information comes from good, reliable sources..," said a British official. He declined to say who had provided it.

Unnamed British official’s parallel conversation: “We don’t share our best stuff with those bloody Yanks. Do you think we trust that drugstore cowboy or his pea-brained posse?”


The United States and Britain have found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction since toppling Saddam on April 9.

But Bush said he was confident Saddam had had a weapons of mass destruction program and that Washington had underestimated Iraq's nuclear progress before the 1991 Gulf War.

"Saddam Hussein was a threat to world peace. And there's no doubt in my mind that the United States...did the right thing in removing him from power," Bush said.

Bush parallel conversation: “Doubts show a lack of confidence. Hell, that’s why I don’t ever give nuthin’ a second thought. Shouldn’t traded Sosa, though.”

The annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress is one of the most visible and important speeches that a U.S. president can make, with each line reflecting a careful assessment of White House priorities.

Fleischer said the uranium charge, based on documents purporting to show Iraqi officials were seeking to buy the material from Niger, should not have been in the speech.

Ari’s parallel conversation: “I hate those Limey Fleet Street bastards. Up until now the American media hasn’t called us on jacks*#t.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted on Wednesday that he thought the Niger link was not suitable for him to use when he made the case against Iraq in front of the United Nations shortly after Bush's State of the Union speech.

"I did not use it in the formal presentation I made on the 5th of February because by then there was such controversy about it, and as we looked at all that we knew about it, it did not seem to be the kind of claim that I should take into the U.N," Powell told BBC television in Pretoria while on an African trip with Bush.

Powell’s parallel conversation: “Don’t think I read whatever they put in front of me just because the moron does. You know darn well I thought it was bulls*#t.”

The documents, obtained by European intelligence agencies, are now accepted as forgeries.

"With the advantage of hindsight...this information should not have risen to the level of a presidential speech," Fleischer said.

Ari’s parallel conversation: “Or even with the foresight expected from your average college freshman before a term paper. Good lord, get me out of here!”

A former U.S. ambassador, asked to investigate an intelligence report alleging the uranium purchase bid, said in a New York Times article on Sunday he had told Washington months before the speech that such a transaction was "highly doubtful."

Former ambassador’s parallel conversation: “There’s no way in hell that happened and only an idiot would believe it did!”

The White House's National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said on Tuesday that in the run-up to the speech, a national intelligence estimate referred to attempts by Iraq to acquire uranium from "several countries in Africa."

Anton’s parallel conversation: “Of course, we asked them to tell us that.”

Democrats seized on the White House admission to demand a full review of how Bush's Republican administration used intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.

Democrats parallel conversation: “Do you think people might finally care about this one?”

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Our friends at the RNC think Dem leaders are just plain mean

From time-to-time the crack staff here at PrometheusSpeaks checks in on the Republican National Committee, just to see what they’re smoking. The RNC dedicates a webpage to supposed scurrilous attacks by Democratic leaders that show…well, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to show. We’ll report, you decide.

RNC RESEARCH June 24, 2003

"They play hardball. We play softball."
- DNC Strategist Donna Brazile As Quoted In The Weekly Standard, 6/30/03, Citing The New York Times, 5/26/03
SOFTBALL??? Democrat Claims Of "Softball" Refuted By Bitter Personal Attacks

DNC Web Cartoon Depicts President Bush As Dr. Frankenstein And Calls Him A "Madman." (Democrat National Committee Website,, Accessed 6/23/03)

(Eds. Note: The image is actually quite flattering. Dr. Frankenstein, however, has objected to the comparison.)

Rev. Al Sharpton (D-NY) Says President Bush Lied. "If President Clinton had told the lie that George Bush told, he would be impeached." (Robert E. Pierre, "Jackson Event Is Forum For Democrats," The Washington Post, 6/23/03)

(Eds. Note: And then drawn and quartered. And that’s just by the “liberal media.”)

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) Calls President Bush "Absolute Phony." "We have to show this president as the absolute phony he is ... He is a phony through and through." (John Wagner, "Edwards: Bush A 'Phony,'" The [Raleigh] News And Observer Website,, 6/21/03)

(Eds. Note: You’ve seen the aircraft carrier landing; you know his actual military record.-- except for those seventeen months that he deserted due to a cocaine induced haze. Those details have yet to be put together by the liberal media.)

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Calls For "Regime Change In The United States." "What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States." (Glen Johnson, "Kerry Says US Needs Its Own 'Regime Change,'" The Boston Globe, 4/3/03)

(Eds. Note: We have one at least every 4 to 8 years. It is in the Constitution. Really. Check if you don’t believe me.)

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) Blamed Potential War Casualties On President Bush. "I'm saddened, saddened that ... we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country." (Senator Tom Daschle, Remarks At AFSCME Conference, 3/17/03)

(Eds. Note: Update: Sen. Dashchle is now saddened that we have had to give up over 200 lives of allied forces and thousands of Iraquis.)

Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) Said Soon "Girls Won't Be Able To Go To School" Under President Bush. (Gov. Howard Dean, Remarks At NARAL Pro-Choice America Dinner, 1/21/03)

(Eds. Note: This one may actually be an overstatement, unless he was referring to the possible consequences of the pending condemnation of our crumbling educational infrastructure.)

Related story: Bush seeks 30 billion for war on criticism

Monday, July 07, 2003

What does a real soldier think about Dubya?

Wes Clark on Bush:

Newsweek: What do you think of President Bush’s using war imagery as a political tool, like when he recently flew onto an aircraft carrier?

Clark: The world expects something more of an American president than to prance around on a flight deck dressed up like [a] pilot. He’s expected to be a leader. That’s my fundamental issue with it. It doesn’t reflect the gravitas of the office. Furthermore, it’s a little phony.

Sounds like Clark might be feeling the itch. Hope he scratches it.

Who Hired this Guy?

This savage had his own show:

"Oh, you're one of the sodomites," Savage said. "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it."

He asked for another phone caller who "didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse who's angry at me today."

These bums "mean nothing to me," he said.

There will be no true forgiveness until Eric Alterman has his own show. He's already on the payroll and has a provocative, WWF-worthy title: Altercation. Penance must be paid.

Update: Via Raise Your Hands: "The only option left for MSNBC is to give Eric Alterman his own show. Altercation live sounds like a great show to me. Show your support for Eric and left-of-center liberal TV hosts and Write MSNBC and let them know."

Good idea.

SNL to HBO to MNF to RNC: Next stop—Reno lounge act

They say politics makes strange bedfellows and here is exhibit A:

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) A new voice has emerged in the re-election campaign of President Bush, that of Dennis Miller, who is gaining a reputation as a conservative comic by attacking Democrats with biting humor.

Miller flew on Air Force One from San Francisco to Los Angeles with the president on Friday, and later gave a stand-up routine at a Bush fund-raiser in Los Angeles.

"I spent an amazing couple of hours with Dennis Miller," Bush said during his Los Angeles speech after Miller's routine. "He keeps you on your toes."…

Miller, who was an analyst on ABC's "Monday Night Football, had an HBO comedy show and does commentary for Fox News, adds a celebrity touch to Bush's re-election campaign, much like actor Bruce Willis did in 1992 when Bush's father ran for re-election.

Bush remained offstage until after Miller's often caustic comic performance during the fund-raiser that drew in $3.5 million, most of it in $2,000 checks from 1,600 people.

For instance, he took aim at West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democratic elder statesmen who has questioned the Iraq war and its chaotic aftermath.

Even some in the crowd of Republican loyalists booed when Miller said of Byrd: "I think he must be burning the cross at both ends."

Responding to the boos, Miller said: "Well, he was in the (Ku Klux) Klan. Boo me, but he was in the Klan."...

He had a special barb for one candidate, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has questioned the Iraq war, comparing him to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who followed a policy of appeasement of Nazi Germany in the years before World War II.

"He can roll up his sleeves all he wants at public events, but as long as we see that heart tattoo with Neville Chamberlain's name on his right forearms, he's never going anywhere," Miller.

“Stop it, Dennis. You’re just slaying me with the historical reference humor! You’re just so much damn smarter than those other comics.”

I know it came on past his bedtime, but I wonder if anyone told Bush that on Dennis Miller’s HBO show his typical rant wouldn’t have made it past one of the internet filters Bush wants in libraries? Now we all know Bush’s personal language isn’t always in keeping with the pious image he wants to project, but can you imagine, say Bush, Miller and Gary Bauer sitting around Hooters, knocking back a few brewskies and rating the waitresses?

I wonder how the Christian Right views Dubya’s new favorite comedian? I mean, this is a crowd that thinks some of Jeff Foxworthy’s, “You might be red-neck if…” routines are a little risqué. Don’t alienate the base!

An interesting marriage, to say the least. Miller used to be the “hip” one on SNL—no small accomplishment. I don’t know that he was ever necessarily progressive, however. Sucked in by the Perot magic in 1992, and now latched onto to Bush’s perceived juggernaut, one gets the impression Miller may have always just wanted to hang out with the popular kids. Oh sure, he had the cool hair and the quick wit, but one imagines that while he mocked the teacher behind her back, when alone with her he kissed her ass. Over the years, Miller seemed to work a little too hard to cultivate a rebellious persona.

Now excuse me if I go off on a rant here, but an angry, shallow diatribe is not a sign of a deep and thoughtful guy, no matter how much he referred to the thesaurus when carefully crafting his uncontrolled verbal rage. Miller has what seems to be a floating anger disorder, waiting for something to briefly light on so he can show you he’s more disgusted than you are. Like the kid in college who thinks talking about “dark” topics makes him deep, Miller hones his “anger” for effect. Not to say anger can’t be funny, but give me Lewis Black any day. Miller’s brand of anger is more fitting for Fox News. I’m glad they found each other.

Bush seems thrilled that one of the hip former long-hairs thinks he’s cool, too, although I bet Miller took it easy with the big words during their two wonderful hours together. Personally, I’m hoping Dennis Miller does for George Bush what he did for Monday Night Football. Or at least what Bruce Willis did for papa in 1992.

By the way, do you think the Republican crowd took offense at Bird being besmirched or the Klan?

At least this one's retiring...

Franks said he agreed with the president's controversial message last week for Iraqi militants attacking U.S. troops.

"Absolutely," said Franks, adding: "Bring 'em on."

Franks said several hundred U.S. and other foreign forces had lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 22 months and this toll should be looked at in the light of about 3,000 Americans who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"The fact is, wherever we find criminals, death squads and so forth who are anxious to do damage to this country and to peace-loving countries around the world, I absolutely agree with the president of the United States: 'bring 'em on."

Right now I'm pretty much speechless. Best thing I can say about Franks is he's at least the genuine cowboyesque soldier that the Connecticut born, Andover, Yale, and Harvard bred Bush wants you to think he is.

I do wonder what they're on. This, maybe?

Sunday, July 06, 2003

What do the French know? Well...

Excerpts from a speech by French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin

There are two options:
- The option of war might seem a priori to be the swiftest. But let us not forget that having won the war, one has to build peace. Let us not delude ourselves; this will be long and difficult because it will be necessary to preserve Iraq's unity and restore stability in a lasting way in a country and region harshly affected by the intrusion of force.

Faced with such perspectives, there is an alternative in the inspections which allow us to move forward day by day with the effective and peaceful disarmament of Iraq. In the end is that choice not the most sure and most rapid?

No one can assert today that the path of war will be shorter than that of the inspections. No one can claim either that it might lead to a safer, more just and more stable world. For war is always the sanction of failure. Would this be our sole recourse in the face of the many challenges at this time?…

Premature military intervention would bring this unity into question, and that would detract from its legitimacy and, in the long run, its effectiveness....

Such intervention could have incalculable consequences for the stability of this scarred and fragile region. It would compound the sense of injustice, increase tensions and risk paving the way to other conflicts....

We all share the same priority—that of fighting terrorism mercilessly.
This fight requires total determination. Since the tragedy of September 11 this has been one of the highest priorities facing our peoples. And France, which was struck hard by this terrible scourge several times, is wholly mobilized in this fight which concerns us all and which we must pursue together.

Ten days ago, the US Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, reported the alleged links between al-Qaeda and the regime in Baghdad. Given the present state of our research and intelligence, in liaison with our allies, nothing allows us to establish such links. On the other hand, we must assess the impact that disputed military action would have on this plan. Would not such intervention be liable to exacerbate the divisions between societies, cultures and peoples, divisions that nurture terrorism?

Oh, sure. Hindsight’s 20/20—or at least it should be. Wait, the dude said that back in February?

The man made some good points. They were summarily dismissed by our administration. Those who were so gung-ho to go to war and who cynically aligned their position with the cry, "Support our troops!" have done those young men and women an unforgivable disservice. War is a necessarily evil-- when it is necessary. It must be a last resort. Almost everyday our troops continue to be killed and wounded. Strangely enough, it is almost easier to forgive the Chicken Hawks like Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. (almost, but not quite) than it is Powell. He knew better. He's been to war. His instincts seemed to tell him this was a bad idea. If he had had the courage, a clean break with this adminstration might have prevented this growing debacle.

Almost every day, still, a mother and father continue to lose a child in Iraq. Small children lose a parent. In retrospect, how many will believe the sacrifice was anywhere close to worth it? If you lost a child in there, would you?

A ticker-tape parade would have been cheaper-- and classier

Don't worry, we're in charge now

Sunday, Jul. 06, 2003
Much has been written about how Iraqis complicated the task of rebuilding their country by looting it after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. In the case of the international airport outside Baghdad, however, the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers. The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport and trashed five serviceable Boeing airplanes. "I don't want to detract from all the great work that's going into getting the airport running again," says Lieut. John Welsh, the Army civil-affairs officer charged with bringing the airport back into operation. "But you've got to ask, If this could have been avoided, did we shoot ourselves in the foot here?" …

U.S. estimates of the cost of the damage and theft begin at a few million dollars and go as high as $100 million. Airport workers say even now air conditioners and other equipment are regularly stolen. "Soldiers do this stuff all the time, everywhere. It's warfare," says a U.S. military official. "But the conflict was over when this was done. These are just bored soldiers." Says Welsh: "If we're here to rebuild the country, then anything we break we have to fix. We need to train these guys to go from shoot-it-up to securing infrastructure. Otherwise we're just making more work for ourselves. And we have to pay for it."

Well, Candidate Dubya did warn us he did not believe in nation building. Sounds like the first step to restoring order in Iraq may begin with our own troops. These guys have commanding officers, right?

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Ann Coulter: Even crazier than previously thought

As a holiday treat, Ann Coulter singles out five Americans deserving of her admiration

On our nation's birthday, it is appropriate to honor the five men who did the most to defend our freedom in the last century. The names are easy to remember -- they are the five men most loathed by liberals: Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Whittaker Chambers and Ronald Reagan.

At least she is one conservative who is upfront about her adoration of Joe McCarthy.

Why the U.S. is experiencing record popularity around the world

Our Man in Iraq says, "When you make an enemy of the United States, you'd better watch out. Sooner or later we will get you."

Hey Dubya, this is how a trained diplomat says, "Bring them on."

Speaking of "diplomats," wasn't Paul Cellucci threatening Canada with "consequences" not so long ago? Omigod! Are they next?

I guess Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is not required reading in diplomat school anymore.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Do as I say, Not as I do, Part VI

October 2000

LEHRER: First, a couple of follow-ups from the vice presidential debate last week.

Vice President Gore, would you support or sign as president a federal law banning racial profiling by police and other authorities at all levels of government?

GORE: Yes, I would. The only thing an executive order can accomplish is to ban it in federal law enforcement agencies….

BUSH: Yes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be singled out because of race and stopped and harassed. That’s just flat wrong, and that’s not what America’s all about. And so we ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling….

And secondly, there is other forms of racial profiling that goes on in America. Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what’s called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we got to do something about that. My friend, Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan, is pushing a law to make sure that, you know, Arab-Americans are treated with respect.

So racial profiling isn’t just an issue at the local police forces. It’s an issue throughout our society. And as we become a diverse society, we’re going to have to deal with it more and more.

It doesn't seem that "secret evidence" is bothering President Dubya the way it bothered Candidate Dubya. Guess the law ‘ol Spence was pushing left with him. Anybody know how Dubya’s polling with Arab-Americans these days?

While you're at it, how about a PSA for the Killer Ds?

Willie Nelson Endorses Congressman Dennis Kucinich For President

Statement from Willie Nelson: "I am endorsing Dennis Kucinich for President because he stands up for heartland Americans who are too often overlooked and unheard. He has done that his whole political career. Big corporations are well-represented in Washington, but Dennis Kucinich is a rare Congressman of conscience and bravery who fights for the unrepresented, much like the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Dennis champions individual privacy, safe food laws and family farmers. A Kucinich Administration will put the interests of America's family farmers, consumers and environment above the greed of industrial agribusiness.

Nashville won't like it, but the Red Headed Stranger has always been an outlaw there, anyway. He can still hang with the Dixie Chicks. I think a 70 year-old Willie could still kick Toby Keith's AND Travis Tritt's asses, at least musically. The big question is: Who, if anyone, does Willie endorse after Kucinich packs up and goes home? Having Willie strongly support the Democratic nominee could be helpful in some quarters. Of course, it might also get him audited again if the Dem doesn't win.

"Mamas, don't let you're babies grow up to be Repugs. Don't let 'em be lobbyists or corporate execs. Have 'em drink Shiner and eat good Tex-Mex."

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Meanwhile, Dubya had a relaxing round of golf

One U.S. Soldier Killed, 19 Wounded in Iraq
Fri July 4, 2003 01:24 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - One U.S. soldier was killed and 19 were wounded in two attacks in central Iraq on Thursday night, the U.S. military said on Friday.

A sniper shot dead one American soldier in Baghdad, while the 19 U.S. soldiers were wounded in an attack near the town of Balad, north of the capital, a military spokesman said.

As a general rule, the person who does the taunting should probably be in the fray.

Do as I say, not as I do, Part V

October 2000

LEHRER: Last question for you, Governor. This flows out some — flows somewhat out of the Boston debate.

You, your running mate, your campaign officials have charged that Vice President Gore exaggerates, embellishes and stretches the facts, et cetera. Are you — do you believe these are serious issues — this is a serious issue that the voters should use in deciding which one of you two men to vote for on November 7?

BUSH: Well, we all make mistakes. I’ve been known to mangle a syl-lable or two myself, you know. But …


If you know what I mean.

I think credibility’s important. It’s going to important to be — for the president to be credible with Congress, important for the president to be credible with foreign nations. And, yes, I think it’s something that people need to consider.


Majority in US believes Bush 'stretched truth' about Iraq
Wed Jul 2, 4:04 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - For the first time since the beginning of the war in Iraq (news - web sites), a solid majority of Americans believe the Bush administration either "stretched the truth" about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or told outright lies, according to a new opinion survey.


Depends on what your definition of personal issa

Darrell Issa (R-CA) clears things up

Issa, speaking with reporters late Monday, implied that the issue of his gun conviction should be off limits in the campaign because it was personal and old. After the Michigan arrest, Issa was fined $100 and put on three months' probation, court records show. Issa did not mention the separate arrest in Ohio.

Criminal convictions are “personal.” Private, consensual sex is fair game. Got it?

Do as I say, not as I do, Part IV

Just as I remember it:

October 2000

LEHRER: Should the people of the world look at the United States, Governor, and say — should they fear us? Should they welcome our involvement? Should they see us as a friend to everybody in the world? How do you — how would you project us around the world, as president?

BUSH: Well, I think they ought to look at us as a country that understands freedom, where it doesn’t matter who you are or how you’re raised or where you’re from, that you can succeed. I don’t think they ought to look at us with envy.

It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll resent us. If we’re a humble nation but strong, they’ll welcome us.

And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power. And that’s why we’ve got to be humble and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom.

So I don’t think they ought to look at us in any other than what we are. We’re a freedom loving nation. And if we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll view us that way. But if we’re a humble nation, they’ll respect us as an honorable nation….

LEHRER: Does that give us — does our wealth, our good economy, our power, bring with it special obligations to the rest of the world?

BUSH: …Yes, we do have an obligation in the world, but we can’t be all things to all people. We can help build coalitions, but we can’t put our troops all around the world. We can lend money, but we’ve got to do it wisely. We shouldn’t be lending money to corrupt officials. So we got to be guarded in our generosity.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Do as I say, not as I do, Part III

October 2000

BUSH: Yes, I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, “This is the way it’s got to be. We can help.” And maybe it’s just our difference in government, the way we view government. I mean, I want to empower people, I don’t — you know, I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do.

I just don’t think it’s the role of the United States to walk into a country, say, “We do it this way, so should you.” Now, I think we can help, and I know we got to encourage democracy and the marketplaces.

But take Russia, for example. We went into Russia, we said, “Here’s some IMF money,” and it ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket and others. And yet we played like there was reform.

The only people that are going to reform Russia are Russia. They’re going to have to make the decision themselves….

So I’m not exactly sure where the vice president is coming from. But I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, “We do it this way, so should you.” …

But maybe I misunderstand where you’re coming from, Mr. Vice President, but I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.

Do as I say, Not as I do, Part II

October 2000

LEHRER: You said in the Boston debate, Governor, on this issue of nation-building, that the United States military is overextended now. Where is it overextended? Where are there U.S. military that you would bring home if you become president?

BUSH: Well, first, let me just say one comment about what the vice president said. I think one of the lessons in between World War I and World War II is we let our military atrophy, and we can’t do that. We’ve got to rebuild our military.

But one of the problems we have in the military is we’re in a lot of places around the world. And I mentioned one, and that’s the Balkans. I’d very much like to get our troops out of there. I recognize we can’t do it now, nor do I advocate an immediate withdrawal. That would be an abrogation of our agreement with NATO; no one’s suggesting that. But I think it ought to be one of our priorities, to work with our European friends to convince them to put troops on the ground. And there is an example. …

LEHRER: If you’re just going to — you know, the use of the military, there’s — some people are now suggesting that if you don’t want to use the military to maintain the peace, to do the civil thing, is it time to consider a civil force of some kind that comes in after the military that builds nations or all of that? Is that on your radar screen?

BUSH: I don’t think so. I think — I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I’m missing something here. I mean, we’re going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not.

Our military’s meant to fight and win war. That’s what it’s meant to do. And when it gets over extended, morale drops….

But I’m going to be judicious as to how to use the military. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the exit strategy obvious.