George W. Bush

Dick Cheney Caught Out in a Lie Too Brazen Even for Fox News


This weekend, Chris Wallace asked Dick Cheney whether he and George Bush had any responsibility for the growth of Iran’s nuclear program. Not really, Cheney said. That’s all on Obama:

“But the centrifuges went from zero to 5,000,” Wallace pressed.

“Well, they may well have gone but that happened on Obama’s watch, not on our watch,” Cheney replied.

“No, no, no,” Wallace said. “By 2009, they were at 5,000.”

“Right,” said Cheney, who seemed to be losing air from somewhere in his lower back. “But I think we did a lot to deal with the arms control problem in the Middle East.”

These guys wreck the economy, and then complain that Obama hasn’t fixed it fast enough. They blow a hole in the deficit, and then complain that Obama hasn’t quite filled it yet. They pursue a disastrous war in Iraq, and then complain that Obama ruined it all by not leaving a few more brigades behind. They twiddle their thumbs over Iran, and then complain that Obama’s nuclear deal isn’t quite to their liking.

It’s hard to believe that even their own supporters still listen to a word they say. And yet, somehow, conservative rage toward Obama for wrecking the country continues unabated. Truly, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.


Jeb Bush Said The Iraq War Was A ‘Good Deal.’ Here’s Exactly What It Cost.



In recent days, Jeb Bush has decided to focus his campaign on Iraq. Earlier this week he pinned the blame for the current instability in the country on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Speaking at a national security forum yesterday in Iowa, Jeb Bush asserted that “taking out Saddam Husseinturned out to be a pretty good deal.”

In his remarks, Bush also refused to rule out the use of torture as an interrogation tactic and mimicked his brother’s famous declaration, saying that the “mission was accomplished.” Many of the architects of the Iraq War are currently advising Jeb Bush on foreign policy.

Jeb’s remarks appear to be another shift on his assessment of the war. Early in the campaign he said that, knowing what he knows now, he would still have launched the Iraq War. Then he claimed he misunderstood the question and it would be a disservice to families of the fallen. Under heavy criticism, he switched his position, saying, “I would not have gone into Iraq.” By saying the ouster of Saddam — and, by extension, the Iraq War — was a “good deal,” he appears to be reverting back to his initial position.

But just what was the cost of the Iraq war?

More Than 4,424 American Lives

Counts vary but according to the Department of Defense there have been at least 4,424 U.S. military fatalities connected to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Watson Institute at Brown University notes that “[o]fficial Pentagon numbers do not include the many troops who return home and kill themselves as a result of psychological wounds such as PTSD.”

There is no centralized reporting but, according to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, hundreds of Americans — including contractors and U.S. military — were killed while involved in reconstruction efforts.

About 319 Coalition Lives

As part of the Iraq invasion, George W. Bush assembled a small “coalition of the willing” which included the UK and a few other countries. About 319 people from those countries died in the Iraq war.

More Than 115,000 Iraqi Lives

Iraq Body Count, a UK based group that aggregates news reports, morgue records and other data, estimates that 115,000 civilians were killed as a direct result of violence. A group of public health researchers, taking into account indirect causes of death, estimates that about 500,000 Iraqis died as a result of the war.

More Than $1.7 Trillion

The Iraq war has cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion in direct expenses. It owes an addition $90 billion in benefits to war veterans. Ultimately, expenses could grow to more than $6 trillion, including interest.

Zero Weapons Of Mass Destruction

The public justification for the Iraq war was to eliminate the country’s weapons of mass destruction. Despite searching for years, the U.S. did not find any such weapons.


Donald Rumsfeld comes to Jesus — 12 years later: Now he admits George W. Bush was wrong about Iraq

Donald Rumsfeld comes to Jesus -- 12 years later: <em>Now</em> he admits George W. Bush was wrong about Iraq

(Credit: Twitter)

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld


Donald Rumsfeld is finally admitting that the spread of democracy in Iraq following the war was “unrealistic.” But don’t get too confused, Rumsfeld doesn’t regret the initial decision to invade Iraq, he just blames President George W. Bush for setting an unattainable agenda of nation building in the war ravaged nation.

In a new interview with The Times of London, the former Department of Defense head under George W. Bush, signaled that he had been against the goals laid out by the Bush administration beyond the seizure of WMDS all along, claiming, “I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories.” Rumsfeld made clear, “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”
But this isn’t the first time the former Iraq war architect has copped to “mistakes” in Iraq. In 2011, while promoting his memoir, ”Known and Unknown,” Rumsfeld cautioned against the U.S. military’s role as nation builder, calling it “silly,” and said he took responsibility for the abuse scandal at the Iraqi prison, Abu Grahib, but denied it was his fault. From an interview with CBS News’ David Martin:

MARTIN: Did you feel it was your fault?


MARTIN: You were responsible, but it wasn’t your fault?

RUMSFELD: Sure … Exactly

Rumsfeld’s direct jab at the Bush administration (of which he was a crucial part) is a departure from other recent attempts to revise the history of the Iraq war by Republicans. Some Republicans, namely the executed neocons, have seized upon the rise of ISIS in Iraq to attack President Obama and critics of the war. In an effort to defend his brother, expected GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, slammed President Obama for following the Status of Forces agreement set by former President Bush to withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Bush ignored the agreement to argue that Obama “could have kept the troops in and he could have had an agreement,” adding “the United States had enough influence to be able to deal with the immunity issue.”

For his part, it was Rumsfeld’s understanding all along that Iraq was meant to be invaded by the U.S. but not rebuilt by the U.S. Former commander of the Army Transportation Corps, Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid claimed that Rumsfeld threatened to fire any Pentagon officials planning for the rebuilding phase of the war.

H/t: DB

New Poll Claims People Like Bush More Than Obama, Here’s Why These People Are Imbeciles


According to a new poll that just came out from CNN/ORC, former President George W. Bush is apparently viewed more favorably than President Obama.

It’s really unfortunate that these people who view Bush favorably are suffering from such severe amnesia. Luckily, they can’t be denied healthcare under Obamacare, and will be able to receive all the services they require.

I know that tweet is from Fox “News,” but rest assured the numbers are accurate and do line up with the poll. Unfortunately, that means several Americans don’t remember much between the years 2000 and 2008, so let’s have a little refresher course.

President George W. Bush was inaugurated in January of 2001 after being appointed the victor by the United States Supreme Court. (Emphasis are mine – ks)  It was then when he began his journey to become the one of the worst, if not THE worst president in the history of the republic. So bad, in fact, that his own party wants to keep him as far away from RNC events as possible.

Over the course of 2001, his first year in office, Bush decided this would be a terrific time to do most of his work from his ranch inTexas. It was during this year that he decided he would ignore intelligence that said Osama bin Laden was determined to attack in the United States. Later that year, on September 11, the United States suffered its greatest attack and loss of life on domestic soil when bin Laden followed through with his plans — plans Bush ignored.

If such an attack were to have happened under Obama, a Democrat would never be seen fit to hold the office of president again. They would be seen as not being able to keep the country safe. However, seamlessly, Republicans used the worst attack in American history to their advantage and Bush won a second term after starting a war that should’ve never happened in the first place. But hey, it was a nice distraction from being the guy who let 3,000 people die on his watch on American soil.

Speaking of the war in Iraq, even Bush admitted there were no “weapons of mass destruction.” Oh, but please… admire Bush, the man who sent over 4,000 of our troops to die for no reason whatsoever. (cough cough Oil)

Also, with the invasion of Iraq, it eliminated a strong-handed leader who, while not ideal, was able to keep extremists at bay. After the removal of Hussein and the failed implementation of a successful government structure, Bush left Iraq and neighboring regions open to extremists as a power vacuum unfolded before our eyes. ISIS was then able to grab hold of major key cities, and Iraq, to this day, is still in horrific turmoil.

Then there was the Hurricane Katrina response. After one of the worst and most deadly hurricanes to hit American soil, Bush failed to effectively respond. Thousands were left stranded without food or water for days on end.

Let’s also not forget one of the worst economic recessions in United States history happened under President George W. Bush. He also managed to turn a budget surplus into a horrendous deficit, and cut revenue while starting two unpaid for wars.

These things, among countless other reasons make George W. Bush one of the worst presidents in history.

Enter, President Barack Obama in 2009, left with the disaster made by President Bush. He’s left to clean up two wars, a recession, and find Osama bin Laden — all of which he has done.

The economy under President Obama has remarkably turned around. Home prices are back or better than they were before the recession. The stock market is hitting record highs. Both wars that began under Bush are drawing to a close, albeit we are still dealing with the enabling of ISIS that Bush created. Osama bin Laden has been killed. Historic health care reform has been implemented, and now people can no longer be denied care for pre-existing conditions. It’s a health care system that is far from perfect, but a step in the right direction. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed. Marriage equality is sweeping the nation, and unemployment is back to pre-recession levels. Which, among countless other things, proves Obama has kept his promise to bring forth positive change.

To put it simply, the country is on a trajectory to be better than it’s been in a very long time. Young people are actually believing they may have a future. A future that was dimmed and almost extinguished after a long eight years under President George W. Bush.

We still have a long way to go as a nation, but we are headed in the right direction, and a lot of how we are getting there is due to President Obama.

So, when poll results show people favor President Bush over President Obama, I’m forced to believe that either they are suffering from amnesia, or are complete and utter imbeciles.

George W. Bush: Freedom To Worship Or Not ‘Is Not Your Government’s Choice’


Former President George W. Bush during his commencement address at Southern Methodist University Saturday

Nor is the freedom to love whomever you choose or the freedom to marry whomever you choose.  Just sayin’. (ks)


Former President George W. Bush defended religious freedom during his commencement address at Southern Methodist University Saturday– his first commencement address since leaving office in 2009.

“You can be hopeful because there is a loving God. Whether you agree with that statement or not is your choice. It is not your government’s choice,” Bush said to applause. “It is essential to this nation’s future that we remember that the freedom to worship who we want and how we want, or not worship at all, is a core belief of our founding.”

Bush’s speech at the school that houses his presidential library and where his wife, Laura Bush, is a trustee, comes as his brother Jeb is on the verge of a likely White House run. Jeb, the former Florida governor, faced difficult questions over his brother’s invasion of Iraq this week, including one from a college student who claimed that George W. Bush was responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.

In his speech Saturday, the 43rd president said he was optimistic about the future.

“Some say America’s best days are behind us,” he said. “I say, given our strengths — one of which is a bright new generation like you — these are not dark days, these are great days.”

Bush, who graduated from Yale with a C+ average, also made fun of his mediocre academic record, telling graduates that they shouldn’t let grades limit them.

“Those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done,” he said. “And as I like to tell the C students: you too can be president.”

~Sam Levine

GOP Hero: Where Bibi Leads, the GOP Will Follow

Nir Elias/Reuters

The Daily Beast

A day before his apparent victory in Israel, the prime minister rejected a two-state solution. Now expect Republicans to follow him—destroying a rare point of unity with Democrats.

Yes, it looks like Bibi Netanyahu has a better shot than Bougie Herzog does of forming the next government. There are many moving parts here, so it’s not completely set in stone. But the clear consensus by 5 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, an hour after the polls closed, was that Netanyahu and Likud have a clearer path to 61 seats than Herzog and the Zionist Union party do.

I’ll leave it to others who know the intricacies of Israeli politics better than I to parse all that. But let’s talk about the impact of a possible Netanyahu victory on our politics here in the United States. The answer is appallingly simple, I think: Though we won’t see this happen immediately or sensationally, it seems clear that, month by month and inch by gruesome inch, a Netanyahu win will move the Republican Party further to the right, to an unofficial (and who knows, maybe official) embrace of Netanyahu’s pivotal and tragic new position of opposition to a two-state solution.

Netanyahu declared said opposition, as you know, the day before the voting, when he stated, in a videotaped interview: “Whoever today moves to establish a Palestinian state and withdraw from territory is giving attack territory for Islamic extremists against the state of Israel. Whoever ignores that is burying his head in the sand.” When his questioner asked if this meant a Palestinian state would not be established on his watch, the prime minister said: “Indeed.”

Now, it’s been known in Israel and America that this was Netanyahu’s true view of things for some time. He partially gave the game away last summer during a press conference. But he never quite said it as directly as he did Monday, in the culminating event of his final, frenzied, fear-mongering campaign. Israeli leaders of the major parties have at least officially supported a two-state solution for many years. But as of Monday, opposition to a two-state solution is official Israel policy, and as long as Bibi’s the boss, it will remain so.

The United States has officially supported a two-state solution at least since George H.W. Bush was president. Presidents of both parties, and even virtually all serious presidential contenders from both parties, have been on record in favor of a two-state solution. Each president has put varying spins on what it means, and has invested more (Bill Clinton) or less (George W. Bush) elbow grease in trying to bring such a solution about. But it has been the bipartisan position in the United States for 25 years or more, and that has meant there at least was a pretense—and sometimes more than that—of a shared goal somewhere down the road between Israel and Fatah (admittedly not Hamas).

Now Netanyahu has ditched that. How will our Republicans react? Well, they love Netanyahu. As they recently demonstrated to us all, he is, in effect, their president, at least on matters relating to the Middle East and Iran. Is it so crazy to think that what Bibi says, the Republicans will soon also be saying?

Now throw Sheldon Adelson into this stewpot. There are many reasons the Republican Party as a whole has become so epileptically pro-Israel in recent years: their ardor for Bibi, the power of the lobby, the influence of the Christian Zionist movement, and more. But another one of those reasons is surely Adelson. When you’re that rich and that willing to throw multiple millions into U.S. and Israeli electoral politics (to the GOP and Likud), you become influential. Adelson is completely opposed to a Palestinian state. “To go and allow a Palestinian state is to play Russian roulette,” he said in October 2013.

There is already a history of GOP candidates making their hajjes, so to speak, out to Adelson’s Las Vegas base of operations and saying what he wants to hear. John Judis wrote about this in The New Republic a year ago. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and John Kasich trotted out to Vegas and filled Adelson’s ear with pretty music. Judis: “The presidential hopefuls made no attempt to distinguish their views on Israel and the Palestinians from Adelson’s.” Christie even apologized for having once used the phrase “occupied territories”!

So here we are today: Bibi, their hero, has said it openly, and “proved” (for the time being) that saying it pays electoral dividends; their base certainly believes it; and Adelson and his checkbook make it potentially quite a profitable thing for them to say. So watch the Republican candidates start announcing that they’re against the two-state solution. Some will be coy about it (Bush, probably). Others—Ted Cruz, and I suspect Walker, who’s already been acting like foreign policy isjust a little make-believe game anyway, an arena that exists merely for the purpose of bashing Barack Obama and pandering to the base—will likely be less coy.

If this happens, do not underestimate the enormity of the change it heralds. As of now, I am told by people who know, no Republican legislator in Washington has explicitly disavowed a two-state solution. The closest Congress has come to doing so was on a 2011 resolution offered by ex-Rep. Joe Walsh that called for congressional support for Israeli annexation of “Judea and Samaria.” Walsh got a number of co-sponsors, 27 of whom are still in office.

But that was then. Four years later, Bibi is the American right’s über-hero, and there’s every reason to think Republicans will follow where he leads. And so a rare point on which our two parties were, however notionally, united, will likely be yet another point of division—and given the intensity of feeling here, bitter division. Republicans will think they can increase their percentage among Jewish voters. The current polls indicate that three-quarters to four-fifths of U.S. Jews (about the percentage that votes Democratic) back a two-state solution. But if Bibi proved anything these last few days, he proved that demagoguery and lies can alter percentages. Brace yourselves.

If It Wasn’t For 9/11, Republicans Would Be Obsolete

Mike Meehan, a St. Cloud, Florida, businessman who paid to post the billboards in the Orlando area, said former President Clinton should have put a stop to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda before 9/11. He said a Republican president would have done so. | CNN

Addicting Info

Consider George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, and Ann Coulter. What do they all have in common, besides the fact they are rabid conservatives who have contributed nothing positive to our country? They all became more prominent, and held higher power and prestige after the September 11, 2001 attacks. While America picked up the pieces of that terrible day, they rose above it all to become the mitochondria of the right.

Because of those horrific attacks (which were the result of Republican-led negligence):

1. George W. Bush’s popularity soared to 90%, setting the stage for two wars and a re-election, which was centered around combating global terrorism to prevent “another 9/11.”

2. Dick Cheney launched a war on morality and international law with the use of torture, all in the name of preventing another 9/11. Now our national standing is forever stained.

3. Rudy Giuliani “united” New York City after 9/11, catapulting him into the national spotlight as a conservative hero against terrorism. Now, Giuliani has rendered himself irrelevant with his race-baiting and paranoia. Because of his fame from 9/11, we will be stuck with him until the day he dies.

4. Ann Coulter became internationally “relevant” with her “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity” comments regarding Muslims. She also took it upon herself to make fun of the 9/11 widows who she thinks are “enjoying their husband’s deaths so much.” Like Giuliani, she has rendered herself irrelevant.

All of these Republicans rose in the ranks of national prominence because of 9/11. Their careers benefited because they kept a tight grip on America with constant fear-mongering and rising nationalism. In their mantra, if you dissented against them, you were a traitor and a terrorist sympathizer. They kept getting elected and they kept getting their spots on TV because people were frightened. The American people wanted to be reassured that 9/11 would never happen again, and the ones who were the best at post-9/11 propaganda were the Republicans.

Because of 9/11, Republicans were back in business, and for a long time. As the United States naturally becomes more progressive with a younger population and an influx of forward-thinking immigrants, the GOP would virtually be obsolete if it wasn’t for that terrible September day.

Speaking of immigrants, you can thank post-9/11 Republicans for our flawed and stagnated immigration system. Because of their propaganda surrounding foreigners, we needed to put more money in the border, send everyone back, and close our borders because of “terrorism.” Yes, the two middle aged parents with their three small children fleeing Mexico are in the same boat as ISIS and the cartels, according to the GOP. If they were brown, they weren’t welcome. If you’re not white, you might as well be a terrorist. This rise in latent racist nationalism continues today, even as President Obama uses his executive authority to fix our broken immigration system. It’s no wonder why so many conservative Americans are hostile to anyone foreign.

The events also beautifully lined the pockets of the GOP (and almost bankrupted the country) with their two wars to “fight” terrorism, which greatly benefited their political machine. And why wouldn’t you be for the war? If you weren’t for “getting the terrorists,” you supported 9/11. The Republicans actually had us convinced there for awhile. According to Gallup Polling, between March 2003 to July 2005, the majority of Americans supported sending our troops to Iraq. After that, America quickly grew war weary.

But now here we are, 14 years after those terrible attacks and the GOP thinks they’re making a comeback. Cheney and Giuliani are appearing on almost every Sunday show, spewing their “we gotta’ get the terrorists” talking points. People are still listening to them, even though they have been conclusively proven wrong.

September 11, 2001 was the worst day for our nation. But it was the best day for the Republican Party. It wasn’t the attack itself that ruined us. It was the response, and the fear, in the long run, that ruined us.

Jeb Bush Resigns as George W. Bush’s Brother

The New Yorker

Photography by Jason Reed/Reuters

Andy Borowitz ~ The New Yorker

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the strongest sign to date that he intends to seek the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has officially resigned his position as George W. Bush’s brother.

“No longer being related to his brother is a key step to clearing Jeb’s path to the nomination,” an aide said on New Year’s Day. “We expect his poll numbers to soar on this.”

According to the aide, the former Florida governor resigned his post as brother in a ten-minute phone call with George W. Bush, after which he blocked the former President’s phone number and e-mail address.

In an official statement, George W. Bush said that he “understands and supports” his former brother’s decision.

“If I were him, I would no longer be related to me either,” he said.

10 things you need to know today: December 17, 2014

Another President Bush in waiting?

Another President Bush in waiting? (Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Week

The 113th Congress ends, Jeb Bush announces he is exploring a bid for the White House, and more

1. Widely criticized Congress wraps up its work
The 113th Congress, which was panned as the least productive in modern history, came to a close late Tuesday. Democrats in the Senate, on their last day in control of the upper house, wrapped up by approving at least six dozen of President Obama’s judicial nominees and extended several tax breaks that had been scheduled to expire in 2015, but failed to renew a terrorism insurance program supported by corporations and major sports leagues. “Thank God it’s over!” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) said. [The Washington Post]


2. Jeb Bush announces he is exploring a presidential run
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced Tuesday via social media that he would “actively explore the possibility of running for president” in 2016. Bush, the son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush, served as Florida’s governor from 1999 to 2007. He is a favorite of the Republican establishment, but has angered conservatives with his support for Common Core education guidelines and comprehensive immigration reform that might include a pathway to legal residency for some undocumented immigrants. [Orlando Sentinel, ABC News]


3. Court calls Obama’s immigration orders unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday declared some of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional, saying they amounted to “arbitrary immigration enforcement.” Judge Arthur Schwab’s ruling was the first in the nation to address Obama’s executive order shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. A Justice Department spokesman called the ruling, which came in the case of a Honduran charged with illegal entry after a drunken driving arrest, “unfounded” and said the judge had “no basis” to address the executive actions. [The Washington Post, Politico]


4. Pakistan lifts death penalty a day after Taliban school attack kills 145
Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, lifted a moratorium on the death penalty on Wednesday, a day after nine gunmen armed with grenades and suicide vests killed 145 people at an army-run school. The government declared three days of mourning for the victims, with the national flag flown at half-staff at all official buildings. Security forces set up checkpoints and barricades in Peshawar, the northwestern city where the attack occurred, and all businesses and schools there were closed. [The New York Times]


5. Jury rejects antitrust lawsuit against Apple
A federal jury on Tuesday rejected an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of using a 2006 update to iTunes software to give itself a monopoly over digital music sales. The eight-member jury unanimously found that Apple had tweaked the software to make legitimate improvements to iPods sold from 2006 to 2009. Competitors who filed the class-action suit complained that the changes let users play songs purchased in the iTunes stores or downloaded from CDs, but not those sold by rival stores and services. [The New York Times]


6. Vet suspected in Pennsylvania killing spree found dead
An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five members of her family, including a 14-year-old niece, was found dead of apparently self-inflicted stab wounds on Tuesday. The body of the 35-year-old suspect, Bradley William Stone, was found a half-mile from his home in suburban Philadelphia, where a 36-hour manhunt had forced local officials to close schools. The former Marine reservist and his wife were involved in a bitter custody dispute. [The Associated Press]


7. Sierra Leone begins searching for Ebola victims door-to-door
Sierra Leone stepped up its battle against Ebola on Wednesday with a plan to search house-to-house for infected people and anyone who has come into contact with them. Those infected will be transported to new treatment centers built by the U.K. The West African nation’s government also said it would impose new travel restrictions. Sierra Leone has more than half of the 18,000 confirmed Ebola cases, and the rate of infection there has been rising. [Reuters]


8. Prosecutor rejects filing abuse charge against Cosby
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday declined to file a child sexual abuse charge against Bill Cosby in connection with a woman’s claim that the comedian molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974. The decision came a day after Cosby’s wife, Camille, issued a statement supporting him against a string of rape and other accusations by numerous women. Camille Cosby said the long-beloved entertainer really was “the man you thought you knew.” [CBS Local]


9. Clifford-creator Norman Bridwell dies at 86
Norman Bridwell, who wrote and illustrated the Clifford the Big Red Dog children’s books, has died at a Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, his publisher, Scholastic, announced Tuesday. He was 86. The first book in Bridwell’s series was published in 1963, and grew into a franchise that included 150 titles and an animated PBS series that aired from 2000 to 2003. A film adaptation of the stories is set for an April 2016 release. [TIME]


10. Curiosity’s methane discovery fuels talk of life on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected traces of methane on Mars, a potential sign of life, researchers announced Tuesday at an American Geophysical Union meeting. Curiosity first picked up background levels of methane — just under one part per billion — within Gale Crater, where it is creeping up the sedimentary rock of Mount Sharp. But it unexpectedly picked up sporadic levels 10 times higher. Most of Earth’s methane is produced biologically, so the discovery increased speculation of life on the Red Planet, now or in the past. [Scientific American]

Cheney Throws Bush Under The Bus On Torture Program


Former VP Dick Cheney (R -Utah) | AP Photo – Manuel Balce Ceneta

TPM LiveWire

Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked the former vice president whether the agency deliberately kept Bush in the dark about its so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

“Not true. Didn’t happen,” Cheney responded. “Read his book, he talks about it extensively in his memoirs. He was in fact an integral part of the program, he had to approve it before we went forward with it.”

Asked if there was ever a point where he knew more about the CIA’s activity than the President, Cheney said “I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program.”

Baier then asked if the former President knew about the “details” of the program. The report — which Cheney called “full of crap” — described brutal interrogation methods including waterboarding, extensive sleep deprivation, threats to harm detainees’ families and “rectal feeding.”

“I think he knew certainly the techniques, we did discuss the techniques,” Cheney said. “There was no effort on our part to keep him from that.”

“The notion that the committee’s trying to peddle, that somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis, and we weren’t being told or the President wasn’t being told, is just a flat out lie,” he later added.