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Friday, September 07, 2007

Petraeus' Fluff Ball, Krugman's Hardball, Congressional Softballs, and Rudy Guilliani Has No Balls!!
Posted by Melina | 9:41 PM

Today Paul Krugman joined the well deserved pile-on urging Congressional Democrats to take a stand and act like they have some balls when General Petraeus testifies about the white house penned report on Iraq this week. It is unreal that we are at a point where we are looking at our representatives as cowards who are afraid, not as much of what we might think of them, but of the political bubble-world of Washington DC that seems to be so hermetically sealed that any statement of dissent is treated like a huge achievement. I think that these politicians might do themselves a service by taking a look around outside of the beltway, because Americans are disgruntled, to say the least. According to Krugman, we should plan on the report to be a bunch of bullshit, twisted facts, and numbers:

Here’s what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress next week: he’ll assert that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq — as long as you don’t count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed by Shiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of the head.

Here’s what I’m afraid will happen: Democrats will look at Gen. Petraeus’s uniform and medals and fall into their usual cringe. They won’t ask hard questions out of fear that someone might accuse them of attacking the military. After the testimony, they’ll desperately try to get Republicans to agree to a resolution that politely asks President Bush to maybe, possibly, withdraw some troops.

This report is just a piece of fluff which cherry picks information down to the smallest detail, but clearly overlooks the secondary (or, hell, primary at this point,) effect of this occupation on what is left of Iraqi society; in that we might perhaps expect an increase in crime, not just because there is an increase in crime but because we are there and have disrupted everything...of course we have to count those deaths!

Its clear at this point that Bush likes to have something going on that lets him feel like he is "kicking ass," but alot of us have known for a long time that he is a sociopath riding a hobby horse, and even the doubters are beginning to realize the truth, so why are these white house Rovian operatives allowed to shape the debate? How dare any of them call Democrats who question this clearly erroneous report unpatriotic? And where do our representatives get off backing down after promising to go and deliver a strong and brave message for us. The founders would spit on the way that their hopeful plans have been twisted by this crowd. What kind of cowards do we have running this country?I hope to hear something from someone, maybe even a question that makes sense, but I'm not hopeful.

Krugman notes that Petraeus "...has a history of making wildly overoptimistic assessments of progress in Iraq that happen to be convenient for his political masters." And if its true, as Krugman believes, that the democrats will be accused of being unpatriotic no matter what they say or what happens, then I would hope to hear some all out probing of this report and perhaps even some dissent and protest. One thing we can be sure of is that this report is not likely to hint at the very real need for, and the strong possibility of, a draft.

So why bother with this piece of theater? Because Americans like to see committees and circumstance, and guys in suits acting like they are actually solving problems. Americans also like symbols...like, um...Osama Bin Laden, as the universal bad guy killer. Its a shame that Fred Thompson chose now to belittle the importance of the Bin Laden symbolism to American culture, considering that the government already has the pre-release of Bin Laden's yearly 9-11 commemoration tape, and the outrage is already palpable, even all these years later.

Thompson would do well to pull himself up by his bootstraps, get out of his limo, and try to take the pulse of the American people a little more carefully. What the hell is this guy doing talking about where he thinks Bin Laden is? We haven't caught him because we are in the wrong place doing the wrong thing, and the last thing we need is the suggestion that we should invade another country for the hell of it, when its clear that the guy moves around pretty easily in the Middle East and its gonna take good intelligence work to find him.

In other disgusting news, apparently Joementum Lieberman is co-chairing a meeting of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Monday. Again we are in a position where this pseudo liberal "I" who is supposedly caucusing with the Democrats, (but always threatening to flip to the other side,) is going to be the one representing the left side for balance...I have alot of trouble getting my mind around this! This guy gets to keep all of his committee posts and chair all sorts of meetings...representing US!...and who will ask the important questions about our security? No one...forget it.
Its gonna be a clown parade, with Skeletor Chertoff leading other top officials in making assessments about our security and how safe we are..,or not.... The clear fact that we are not safer now than we were before 9-11 points to more of the same; especially knowing how the reports are presented and how afraid our representatives seem to be to make waves.

Its been another day in the car listening to news, podcasts of Ring of Fire, and an old Majority Report rant by Janeane Garafolo about cognitive dissonance, (which has long been one of my favorite subjects.) She was talking about the woman who had the face transplant and the story of how she lost her face: passing out from drugs and alcohol and waking, but not realizing that the dog had removed her face for some reason...that is until trying to light a cigarette and, oops, what the fuck?? Janeane likened the strange shocky feeling of having just had your face eaten off by your dog to what has been going on in this country. Its strange how well some of those Air America shows from over a year ago still hold up...and sad that they still apply, even though the truth is out. Everyone knows that this is all wrong, but they just look uncomfortably at each other and hide their cowardice in some sort of idea of respect for the office and protocol. Fuck that! The feeling of embracing the lie because one can't come to terms with the fact that one was wrong in the first place, or over-identification with the lie, is the only way that some people can live with themselves. Its a form of mental illness that drives itself, in that the stress caused by conflicting belief and evidence needs to resolve so the truth is actively shifted in order to relieve the stress....and then there you are; your dog just took a bite out of your face...but it all makes sense because....because...because...it does!

Here I am in my house of cement pouring, alarm going off, firemen swarming, and contractors moving piles of my laundry round the basement, strangely quiet...for a minute...seeing what it might be like to feel like everything was OK out there...but then, on the news comes Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, who is, against all odds, holding his own in the weak Republican field...the debate, ugh...the news ugh....How did this happen? How did he manage to plow under his extreme weakness as a human being and a leader? His popularity is not dropping the way it should, which worries me, and makes me think that the American people are, as usual, not paying attention.

That Rudy has the nerve to say that he is not a perfect person but was a strong leader in NYC is just laughable. The idea that he could even fill the position of dogcatcher is incredible; but then...look what we have now!
The reign of Rudy in NYC was a strange time of knee jerk over-reaction to Dinkins and his PC liberalism. The swing was not so much to the right, because Rudy is pretty left on social issues, but more towards the Reich.

Among other insanity the homeless folks that were all over the place were hassled all the time and told to move on, with no place to go, and it was said that a large number of them had moved underground into old subway stations or were given one way tickets to places like Bridgeport, CT. I kept wondering where those people went...it was like they were just loaded on trucks one day and removed. The idea of just jostling sleeping people over and over is sort of inhumane, and the lack of real programs to help people made the whole exercise rather abusive.

Rudy set about defining the rules of what he felt was right, as if he was the arbiter of all things social, artistic and monetary. His people were less than sophisticated, and the whole thing echoed a strange mafia novella with goombas and good-fellas. Yeah, Rudy played tough, and he reversed some of Dinkin's soft policing measures, but his real focus was not on infrastructure and safety, but on surface and shine. This was not good management and it alienated many, many people...real New Yorkers for one, were disgusted, and many people who work to make the city work were disgruntled. He didn't solve problems so much as to sweep them away and make things look pretty. But, as we know about those shiny apple Republicans these days, the core is rotten, and sooner or later the worm is gonna crawl out. I'm just waiting for Rudy to blow. He not only lacks the personality for the office but he is rotten to the core.

Rudy left us in a very vulnerable position while he shined up his command center that was in the middle of his universe...with a big target on it. For anyone who doubts that Rudy absolutely sucked as a leader, and for anyone who thinks that it might make sense to have a strong guy like him at the helm, take a visit to The Real Rudy and lift the rock on old Rudy. I don't say this lightly: for anyone who might ever consider giving this guy a job with big responsibility, do some research. Your life may depend on it!

Cross Posted from RIPCoco

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