Let’s make this an open thread … rant on like you all always do!
- First, I’m glad The Supreme One, who has the only control over the Revolutionary Guard, will allow the British sailors to go home.
- Larry was indeed terrific on Olbermann last night (MSNBC video: “McCain’s photo-op in Baghdad?”), and Crackers is right: Larry should have his own show. (The transcript will be here later today.) And, the Chicago Tribune has a great piece on Keith today: “Olbermann ‘mad as hell,’ and MSNBC the winner.”
- Check out “Breaking: Pet Food Recall-US Wheat Gluten Supplier Identified!” by my cyberfriend, Jhritz, who also wrote the masterful piece on the Kurds below. (Also check out a terrific blog’s “Latest Pet Food Recall News,” constantly updated.)
- Last night, CNN’s John Roberts talked to the WaPo‘s Peter Eisner whose new book is “The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq.” Roberts mentioned his friendship with Pat Lang, and noted that “Pat Lang, the former Middle East chief for the Defense Intelligence Agency, was quoted in your book as saying that Cheney really was delusional on this idea of the intelligence as it pertained to Iraq.”
EISNER: Pat Lang worked closely with Cheney in a previous incarnation, and he was not alone in saying that this was not the Dick Cheney that he knew. Dick Cheney that was measured in his analysis and what they called an excellent consumer of intelligence. He knew how to analyze the information, and he knew what the incoming information meant.
Many of the intelligence sources that we spoke to, not only unnamed, but people like Pat Lang, also Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, they said Cheney was at worst leading a kind of second tier that was operating in various parts of the government that was pushing the United States toward war with scant evidence.
Then there’s this gem, via my friend Norma who sends out Gene Lyons’ column every week:
Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Here’s a puzzle: If President Bush really thinks he’s holding all the cards in his impending showdown with congressional Democrats over Iraq funding, why bother with a veto? On previous occasions when Congress passed laws Bush found irksome, he’s quietly issued “signing statements” declaring in essence that the president is a law unto himself. Statutes Bush doesn’t like, he vows to ignore. He’s done it scores of times. He did it with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, granting himself the authority to indulge in warrantless wiretaps. He did it again with the 2006 Patriot Act, signing a bill mandating reports to Congress about the FBI’s use of national security letters, but asserting that the president needn’t comply. It’s no coincidence that the Justice Department’s inspector-general later found widespread FBI abuses of privacy rights. So why not just issue another signing statement saying Congress can pass all the resolutions it wants, but U. S. troops won’t be leaving Iraq until the Decider gives the order? Two somewhat paradoxical reasons. First, the stakes are too high, because everybody’s watching. Bush may be commander-in-chief, but the United States isn’t yet a military dictatorship. Second, some Republicans have convinced themselves they’ve got the Democrats where they want them.
A recent Washington Post news story claims that the impending deadlock “has Republican political operatives gleeful.” Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., predicted, “It’s going to be like the government shutdowns” during Bill Clinton’s administration. “The Democrats’ honeymoon is fixing to end. It’s going to explode like an IED.”
Not the most appropriate simile, I wouldn’t have thought. GOP glee is contradicted not only by 2006 election results, but also by every extant opinion poll. A March 29 Pew survey asked whether “Democratic leaders in Congress are going too far… in challenging George W. Bush’s policies in Iraq.” Exactly 23 percent said “too far,” 30 percent answered “about right” and 40 percent “not far enough.”
The Post’s own poll shows that 56 percent favor pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq “even if that means civil order is not restored there.”
The public’s far ahead of the Beltway opinion elite. This president is no longer trusted. Once people make that fundamental decision, they rarely change their minds. … Read all.