RIP Michael – 8-28-58 to 6-24-2009
What is wrong with these people? What planet are they from?
Is everyone at Fox News Channel suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome? ODS means: Obama is wrong on EVERYTHING he says or does. They do so, knowingly lying to their audiences. But then again, their audience hates Obama as much as they do. Sad.
WTF? If one is “(s)elected” president, one is responsible for the decisions they made during that presidency. There’s nothing childish about historians setting the record straight and supporters of the current president to saying: “We’ll stop blaming Bush when the damage he did is eradicated…” (paraphrased).
Blue Texan – Firedoglake puts it well!
Will the Bushes please just go away?
For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.
“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”
Oops. Jeb! just called his brother an immature child, because during the Bush/Cheney years, everything was everyone else’s fault–especially Bill Clinton’s. Just for starters…
“Two-and-a-half years ago, we inherited an economy in recession,” he [George W. Bush] told donors at a Bush-Cheney ‘04 reception yesterday in Miami. He has raised the same accusation in fundraising appearances since mid-June in Washington, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“It wasn’t all that long ago where a summit was called [by the Clinton administration] and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intefadeh in the area.“
…the senior [Bush] administration official says the budgetary problems stem from what is believed to be inadequate defense, intelligence and homeland security resources that were handed down from Clinton.
“In the last six months of the prior administration [Clinton/Gore], more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. We’re turning that around,” said Bush, who cited the addition of 107,000 manufacturing jobs this year.
Bush rejected criticism from Democrats that his administration had not paid enough attention to the brewing North Korean nuclear crisis. “The North Korean situation was serious for years,” he said in a veiled swipe at former President Clinton. […]“Bilateral negotiations didn’t work. You know, I appreciate the efforts of previous administrations. It just didn’t work,” Bush said.
Even 9/11 was everyone else’s fault.
They [al Qaeda] looked at our response after the hostage crisis in Iran, the bombings of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the first World Trade Center attack [under Clinton], the killing of American soldiers in Somalia [under Clinton], the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa [under Clinton], and the attack on the USS Cole [under Clinton]. They concluded that free societies lacked the courage and character to defend themselves against a determined enemy… After September the 11th, 2001, we’ve taught the terrorists a very different lesson: America will not run in defeat and we will not forget our responsibilities.
And yet, Jeb! has the balls to say,
“The issue to me is what we do now,” Jeb Bush said. “Who cares who’s to blame?”
It was awfully nice of Matt Bai of the New York Times to give Jeb! a forum to spout this nonsense unchallenged. Great job, Matt!
Carlson suggested that McChrystal “doesn’t feel like he’s getting the support of this administration.” On the June 23 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked, “what if what he [McChrystal] says is true,” adding that “if he doesn’t feel like he’s getting the support of this administration, then that’s a problem too.” Carlson also stated that she hoped “that during this meeting today, if the President decides to keep him, he also decides to support this war.” From the program:
CARLSON: OK, but let’s — let’s — let’s get past the protocol here of whether or not this is the right thing for a sitting general to do. What if what he says is true? I mean, what if what he says is all true? Shouldn’t we be concerned about that then? Because this is the guy who’s in charge of leading our troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan, and if he doesn’t feel like he’s getting the support of this administration, then that’s a problem too. So I hope that during this meeting today, if the president decides to keep him, he also decides to support this war. Continue reading…
Twenty-four hours ago, Weekly Standard editor-in-chief William Kristol recommended that Gen. Stanley McChrystal be removed from his role as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and be replaced by Gen. David Petraeus.
If Gen. McChrystal does step down, there are undoubtedly many able general officers who could replace him. Here’s one unconventional suggestion, though: Ask Gen. David Petraeus to give up his CENTCOM post and take command of the war in Afghanistan.
The president has now accepted McChrystal’s resignation and Petraeus is on track to take over in Afghanistan. Don’t expect the rest of Kristol’s advice (the firing of civilian ambassadors) to be adopted right now, but take note of the conservative commentary on this issue. I saw no one argue that McChrystal did not, at least, need to offer his resignation — the argument was between commentators such as Charles Krauthammer, who argued that Obama should not accept it, and commentators like Kristol, who argued for Petraeus to move in.
If more politicians were as forthright as Rep. Steven King (R-IA), Rush Limbaugh might have more friends in Congress these days. In fact, Republicans are so on-message with the idea that Joe Barton was wrong, and speaking for himself, when he apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward that they’re even willing to throw the conservative talk show host and noted GOP opinion-mover under the bus.
King says that’s mostly for show. Republicans, he suspects, are publicly distancing themselves from Tony Hayward apologist Joe Barton while privately acknowledging that he was right to accuse the White House of shaking down BP.
“I think there will be a few that, like me, will agree with JB’s words, and his description, and there will be a lot of others that privately agree with what he said,” King told TPMDC yesterday.
Last night, TPMDC asked three separate House Republicans how they’d respond to Limbaugh, who’s aggressively taken Barton’s side in the BP flap. They all dismissed the conservative talk-show host out of hand.
NRCC Chair Pete Sessions brushed aside Limbaugh’s and King’s comments. “Those talk show hosts have hours to dissect it. I don’t,” Sessions said. “I would have said things
differently [than Barton].”
What about Steve King? “I think everybody’s entitled to their opinion, just like Rush Limbaugh,” Sessions said.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was more aggressive.
“I don’t listen to Rush. He still thinks we [members of Congress] don’t pay into Social Security,” Issa said. “I don’t listen to talk radio. I don’t have the time.”
“The reality is that Mr. Limbaugh, whether you like him or not, has nothing to do with this oil well being plugged or not. Has nothing to do with the skimmers being allowed or not. Has nothing to do with the lack of action,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Limbaugh’s home state of Florida, whose district borders the Gulf. “…that’s the issue, not what Rush Limbaugh has to say.”
If Limbaugh’s feeling lonely, though, he has a friend in Steve King.
“I think that the White House didn’t have the authority to put the squeeze on BP,” King added. “I think when Joe Barton used the word ‘shakedown’ I think it’s accurate. When you get to the part of the whole series of apologies that have taken place I’d have rather that we’d have just let Joe Barton’s words stands. I agree with most of what he said. But when you get down to the point about using the word ‘apology’ it gets a little harder to agree with that.”
I told King that Barton himself had apologized for using the term “shakedown.”
“I didn’t know he did that,” King said, “but I thought he was accurate when he said it.”
Republican response to the Rolling Stone article is fascinating: The House GOP leadership is suggesting it reveals that Stanley McChrystal is “frustrated” with President Obama over the war, perhaps because he isn’t giving the troops “what they need.”
Eric Cantor’s office emails over this:
Obviously a General and his top brass don’t make statements like these without being frustrated, so I hope that the President’s meeting with General McChrystal will include a frank discussion about what is happening on the ground, and whether the resources and the plan are there to defeat terrorists and accomplish our mission in Afghanistan. Without question, the article in Rolling Stone raises a lot of concerns, but our top priority must be to ensure that our forces in Afghanistan have what they need in order to successfully execute their mission and win the war there.
At the moment, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of a clean bill to fund our troops and provide the resources needed because they want to lard it up with domestic spending. We need to get our troops these funds, and should do so without any pork or unrelated domestic spending items thrown in.
This is in keeping with previous GOP attempts to subtly drive a wedge between Obama and McChrystal, at the expense (it goes without saying) of Obama. When Obama decided to send more troops to Afghanistan, multiple Republicans cast it as a decision by McChrystal and the commanders, suggesting that Obama was merely following their lead.
Now the GOP response to the Rolling Stone article isn’t to worry whether it constitues insubordination towards the Commander in Chief, but to suggest that the commanders may have good reason to be “frustrated” with Obama and Dems for some reason.
I personally have mixed emotions about General McChrystal’s dilemma. On the one hand, there is a consensus out there that says he’s the best man to be commander of the forces in Afghanistan. He is a dedicated soldier who wants to “complete the mission”, even in light of the Commander-in-Chief’s plan to start phasing out troops in about one year.
I believe the stress and strain of the job may outweigh the fact that he is a consummate soldier. One cannot be that much of a soldier and break the rules of the Military Code of Conduct. Again, I don’t envy the POTUS. It will be a hard decision and a tough call, whichever way he goes.
Here’s another reason why it’s going to be very tough for Stanley McChrystal to survive tomorrow’s meeting with the President: According to Rolling Stone’s managing editor, all the quotes dissing Obama and his administration came directly from members of McChrystal’s inner circle.
That’s not too surprising, but it’s worth noting, because the article itself isn’t totally clear on where the worst quotes came from.
For instance, the “bite me” quote slamming Joe Biden, and the one hitting Middle East envoy Jim Jones as a “clown,” are both sourced to “aides.” The quote ripping Richard Holbrooke is attributed to a “member of the general’s team.” And the source for the damning assertion that McChrystal was “disappointed” by Obama is described as an “adviser.”
Those who do this stuff for a living know full well that journalists often use terms like this to describe people who are not necessarily in the loop or even close to an article’s subject at all.
But Rolling Stone managing editor Will Dana tells me that all of them come from people who have been very close to McChrystal for a long time.
“These are high level people in McChrystal’s inner circle,” Dana says. “It’s a very close knit group. They see themselves as a real team. They are connected like an offensive line in a football team. These are people who have been loyal to him.”
This makes the whole mess worse. It makes it even clearer that McChrystal tolerated such a tone among his closest advisers, people who he interacted with daily. And it makes it more likely that McChrystal had a pretty clear sense of what was happening as this profile was being reported.
Dana tells me: “In the world of McChrystal it was permissible to speak that way.”
How does Obama keep him?