Protein Wisdom v. Ted Kennedy

Jeff Goldstein at his best.

Tim Noah, Idiot

Check out this Bush “Whopper” from Tim Noah. First, he has this quote up:

This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda.

He then posts this letter to Congress, claiming it is proof that Bush lied and did state there was a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda in regards to 9/11:

[A]cting pursuant to the Constitution and [the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002] is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Unless you are a resident of the Planet Democratic Underground, this is in no way, shape, or form a whopper. The President, in the letter to congress, clearly defined several groups. The larger, more ambiguous groups were ‘international terrorists’ ( Osama, Saddam Hussein) and ‘terrorist organizations,’ (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Ba’athist party in Iraq) the third group being those who ‘planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001’ (Osama, Al Qaeda).


For the slow-witted:

2 entries found for including.

include ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-kld) tr.v. included, including, includes

To take in as a part, element, or member.
To contain as a secondary or subordinate element.
To consider with or place into a group, class, or total: thanked the host for including us.

F-ing idiots. Between the Kerryisms, the Bushisms, and this bullshit, why does anyone take Slate seriously?

Shifting Goalposts

It’s a Pandagon twofer today!

Pandagon, 22 December 2003

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the very heart of the matter. There is no evidence that Saddam was involved in September 11th. There is, however, evidence of him being a bad guy. And so supporters of the Iraqi war are never going to honestly disavow the connection between the two separate events, because in the muddleheaded Noonan-view of the world, all events are connected in a sort of neoconservative karma. September 11th was bad, and Saddam was bad, therefore the former justifies dealing with the latter. It requires a level of abstraction that is in itself actually simpler than what Matthews is putting forward.

Pandagon, 28 January 2004:

The case “rested on multiple pillars”…but WMD was the central pillar. Of the reasons cited, two come back to the WMD justification (the WMD problem becoming unmanageable, and the lack of trust for Hussein in the long run), and two come back to al-Qaeda ties that are also nonexistent. Truly masterful.

Pandagon, 9 February 2004:

Does anybody remember when the Iraq/al-Qaeda ties were first being alleged by nuts such as Laurie Mylroie and relatively respectable folks like the President of the United States of America? Anyone remember how the almost uniform response from the doubters was that there was no real Iraq/al-Qaeda connection now, but the second you invade the country, there’s going to be a lot more collusion, if not outright recruitment?

Pandagon, 9 February 2004:

The problem, at this point, isn’t that the document or sources don’t seem credible. It’s that we don’t seem credible. After being breathlessly told that we’ve found weapons, terrorist links and chemical munitions again and again, just to have them quickly drop off the news as they are proved to be other things (a comic book, a pigeon and a fruit roll-up, respectively), I have little initial trust in huge finds like this. The idea that a 17-page strategic document being sent to Al-Qaeda simply fell into our hands is a bit of a stretch, and given our past history with these sorts of finds, I just can’t muster up the necessary trust to wholeheartedly believe it.

Pandagon, 7 March 2004:

And considering that most of the import of the Zarqawi memo was the realization that al-Qaeda might not even be involved in Iraq now, lending a whole new dynamic to the operation, I can understand why reporters might overlook the memo saying that America wouldn’t leave.

*** Last link removed- I errantly used an Ezra post, which, in all fairness, does not show an inconsistency when the previous posts were all from Jesse. Regardless, Jesse was and still is wrong that there were no ties. Period. ****

For extra fun, Jesse yesterday:

Cheney and the 9/11 Commission directly contradict each other in terms of their plain meaning. Cheney wants you to think that Iraq and al-Qaeda worked together. The Commission says they didn’t. Cheney is wrong, and the debate over the nature of his wrongness is nowhere near the level of disingenuousness and, yes, dishonesty inherent in the argument that nonproductive and noncollaborative Iraq/al-Qaeda contacts constitute a war-level reaction.

There’s no sensical way to say the debate over how someone’s being out of accord with reality is as much of a problem as the people being out of accord with reality themselves. The Commission says the contacts were there, but point out, factually, that they went no further. Cheney is using the exact same information to make the exact opposite (and dishonest) point. But, you see, the problem’s not there.

Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, 911 Commissioners:

THOMAS KEAN, 9/11 COMMISSION CHAIRMAN: Well, that’s what our staff has found. Now, it doesn’t mean there weren’t al Qaeda connections with Iraq over the years. They’re somewhat shadowy, but I think they were there. But with 9/11, no, our staff has found no evidence of that.

MATTHEWS: Mr. Hamilton, so many polls have been taken that shows the American people, almost three-quarters of the people, believe there was a connection. How do we rectify that? Is your commission going to clarify that to the extent that people won’t still be singing country music that says remember how you felt?

LEE HAMILTON, 9/11 COMMISSION VICE CHAIRMAN: All we can do is state as clearly as we can what the evidence is that we have found. We have found no operational collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden with regard to attacks on the United States. That conclusion is a very firm one that we have reached.

What the governor referred to is also true. There are all kinds of ties. There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein lieutenants.

They had contacts, but what we did not find was any operational tie with respect to attacks on the United States.

In other words, Cheney is a liar for something he never said and because he agrees with the commission.

Jesse and The War On Straw

Dear Jesse:

When someone says that someone is “the most shamelessly dishonest — if crudely effective — propagandist since Joseph Goebbels and Nazi documentarian Leni Riefenstahl,” they are specifically AVOIDING calling that individual a NAZI. What is eing referenced is the skill of Goebbels and Riefenstahl at dispensing propoganda, and not their NAZI ideals.

Therefore, this response is a touch overblown:

Yep. Moore’s a Nazi. Again. Regardless of what you think of his relationship to the truth, the most he’s calling for is electoral change through the avenues of constitutional democracy – not genocide. Correct his facts, please! If he gets something wrong, let us know what’s right. But he’s not a Nazi.

Can we indict the entire right yet? Please? I’ve got my indictin’ shoes on!

If you want to know what it is like to be called a Nazi, here is a refresher course from the folks at DC Indymedia:


Or you might go watch the two ads submitted to MoveOn.

It can’t be said often enough- being a liberal means never being able to pass up the opportunity to play victim.

Snark Bait

Go over to the right and click on the new ad for SnarkBait. They aren’t trying to sell you anything, they don’t want you to do anything- except read.

Pretty site, btw.

Department of Bad Analogies

Check out this bunch of silliness that was written in a weak attempt to downplay any connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq:

People who work on the Hill have meetings with lobbyists and interest groups all the time, sometimes this means Senator X is really a pawn of Industry Y, but sometimes it means that Senator X needs to tell Industry Y that he can’t help them out and wants to do it in a respectful way. When Adrianna was meeting with the FBI, that did mean she was in league with the Feds, but it didn’t mean that the Soprano family was. Tony met with Johnny Sack a whole bunch of times, sometimes to conspire with him, sometimes to tell him to fuck off. Neville Chamberlain was pursuing an unwise policy during his meetings with Hitler in Munich, but he wasn’t in cahoots with Hitler. Don Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in the 80s to collaborate on their common interest in checking Iranian power, but that doesn’t mean they were working together in 2003 or 1991.

Dear Matt:

1.) Senators and Industry personnel are not terrorists and despotic dictators. Analogy dead.

BTW- I might note that ‘just the appearance of impropriety’ between congressman and industry was enough for almost the entire Democratic party to vote for CFR.

2.) Adrianna, Tony, Johnny Sack are fictional characters. Analogy dead.

BTW- The powers that be (in this case, a fictional FBI), have been up all three of their asses with a baseball bat and a flashlight. The same can not be said about the real life case you aretryingto analogize.

3.) Neville Chamberlain never engaged in an act of terrorism or gassed the populations of Newcastle, Carlisle and Windermere. Analogy dead.

BTW- Neville Chamberlain’s policy sounds alot like the Democratic party talking points regarding North Korea.

Matt’s fundamental problem here is that he is using analogies that don’t reflect reality. What is reported as fact, andt hat all of us except a few coneheads in the media elite understand, is that there was a relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. What makes this special is that both of these characters are trouble.

I don’t think that Iraq had much if anything to do with 9/11- and I would say they had NOTHING to do with 9/11 if I could speak in terms of certainties regarding the issue. But since you can know what you don’t know (as Cheney has stated over and over), you sort of have to stick to your gut instincts and the record of behavior for Al Qaeda and Saddam. And while this may confuse our liberal elites, I have a pretty firm idea of their intentions.

Coy Andy

I like Andrew Sullivan, I really do. I read him every day, and I wish I was lucky enough to know him in person (as some of my friends actually do). However, I am a little tired of this bit:

reader reminds me that I wrote in this blog on February 29 that Bush’s support for the FMA was a “deal-breaker” for me. Those are the exact words of my subsequent Advocate piece. I don’t blame Jonah for missing it. But it’s unfair to say I have in any way deceived anyone. I went through a period of turmoil after Bush’s endorsement of the FMA and wasn’t sure whom I could support. But on reflection, the FMA made it impossible for me to endorse Bush. There was no “extremely significant silence.” Just outrage and a period of reflection.

So you are not going to endorse him. Fine. Does this mean you are goingto vote for Kerry? Come out and tell me, or I am dismissing all ofthis as shameless self-promotion.

The Kool-Aid Crowd

Exactly what is it going to take for Oliver to acknowledge that there was a relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq? Today, my liberal friend is calling Bush a liar for this statement:

“The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda,” Bush told reporters after a meeting with his Cabinet.

There may have been no relationship according to Oliver, but the 9/11 commission sees things differently:

“This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaida,” Bush said. “We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with (Osama) bin Laden, the head of al-Qaida, in the Sudan. There’s numerous contacts between the two.”

Senior members of the commission seemed eager to minimize any disagreement with the White House.

“What we have found is, Were there contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy but they were there,” said Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, who is chairman.

Like Bush, he said there was no evidence that Iraq aided in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Even Kevin Drum has gone into back-pedal mode, moving from overtly ridiculing the Instapundit to a new strategy of downplaying the importance of the links he yesterday said did not exist.

No one thinks Saddam was behind 9/11. And no one is saying that. Why some have chosen this to attack the President is beyond me.

Yeah. That Is About It

Go read this letter that Sully put up. I could have written that.

Intolerable Behavior

I spent the whole day formatting my computer- reinstalling everything, hunting down all the drivers, transferring from back-up to the computer- in short, rebuilding the software side from scratch. We all know how pleasant that is and what kind of mood I am in.

Then, I come here, and I find some jackass has taken it upon himself to start hurling personal insults at people in the comments sections of posts.

Let’s get a few things straight here, before things get out of control:

1.) I make mistakes from time to time. I make stupid arguments from time to time. I write stupid things in moments of anger, and from time to time, I am wrong. Really wrong. Just because I have a strong opinion about something does not make me right- hell, if strength of opinion was all that mattered, Bill O’Reilly would be the smartest man on the planet, and we all know what a jack-ass he is.

2.) I am a fierce partisan, as are many bloggers, yet I hold a lot of moderate positions. Example: I am pro-choice to some extent, but I see no problem with a waiting period or parental notification. I have no problems whatsoever with CAFE standards (other than a knee-jerk distaste for government egulation), yet I support drilling in ANWR and nuclear power. You get the idea.

At any rate, since I am a fierce partisan, when I go over the top, or say something stupid (as I did here, in retrospect), thechances are that theperson who is going to call me on it is a liberal or a Democrat. Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it?

3.) When someone challenges me, I try to respond. And I try to respond to their argument. If you agree with me, I don’t mind if you do the same- respond politely.

4.) What will stop, however, is the personal attacks on people who have done nothing more than engage in honest debate. And, if you think you are doing it in my name, or doing me a favor, think again.

5.) This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t hate liberals. Not even a little bit. I hate some of the things they do, I hate that a lot of their proposals are simply idiotic, and I hate the way they have behaved regarding this President. But I don’t hate them. I actually like Oliver Willis- he and I talk frequently online, and you might be surprised to know he is a decent fellow with a lot of things to say. Dwight Meredith is one of the most decent human beings on the planet. I would have no problem living next door to someone like Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias. And, believe it or not, despite the fact that we are always taunting each other, Ezra Klein, Jesse Taylor and I don’t hate each other.

6.) In closing, when some asshole decides that the comments section is the right time and place to start lauching vicious personal attacks at Gary Farber, someone who I like and whose presence here is appreciated, it really pisses me off (you do have some fans here, Gary).

In short, quit acting like little kids. You aren’t always right, and making fun of someone’s personal appearance, ethnicity, socio-economic status never makes you right.

Oh- and btw, Gary was right. While I do have some objections from Clarke’s term in office, most of my disgust is from his odious behavior since.

Poll Questions I Don’t Understand

I will be the first to admit I do not understand why people like Oliver and Andrew Sullivan are surprised by this poll question:

A staggering 92 percent view the Coalition forces as “occupiers” as opposed to 2 percent who consider them “liberators.”

Shouldn’t 100% of them view as us occupiers? That is what we are, isn’t it? And the idea is to end the occupation as soon as possible.

Also, if they would read the actual polls, the would learn some interesting things. For example, Oliver wrote:

In other words… cut and run, leave Iraq to the whims of Sadr and Sistani… creating an Iranian style theocracy that does nothing to help the spread of democracy or curb middle eastern terror.

Apparently he read nothing but the Yahoo! news piece, because the actual poll itself states:

Moqtadas “support” has grown dramatically, but this is illusory; a mere 2% would vote for him for president.

I would argue that the poll conductor’s conclusion is a touch different from Oliver’s.

Also, while confidence in the CPA has fallen, confidence is SOARING for the new Iraqi Police, the new Iraqi Army, and there has been amarked increase in confidence in the Governing Council and the new Ministries. In other words, the institutions that are going to matter in a few weeks seem to be enjoying widespread or widely spreading support. Granted, those numbers are down in all categories since November, but that is to be expected considering the violence that has been taking place.

In other poll notes:

– 77% of the populace thinks things will be the same or better after the June 30th transition.

– 51% of thepopulace feels “VERY SAFE” in their neighborhood. Anyone polled DC or LA lately?

– 64% of respondents feel the country is more UNITED since the actions of Sadr, and given his soft support, that should be interpreted as UNITED against Sadr.

– Support for joining Iraqi security forces increases across all branches.

– Iraqis believe their security forces can handle things without Coalition Forces.

– 62% think the Iraqi Police and Army will be able to maintain order without the CPA.

This is the evidence being used to show failure????

Mystic River

I saw Mystic River last night, and there is no doubt in my mind that Sean Penn is one of the greatest American actors of all time.

Pointless Post

I know this is pointless, but why is the UN Oil for Food Scandal not receiving the attention it deserves?

Daily Kerryism

I have written before about how stupid the Daily Kerryisms and the Daily Bushisms are, and I am glad to see others are beginning to agree. Well, sort of- mainly they just don’t like Kerry being bashed.

However, that is enough for me. Maybe one day they will realize the Bushisms are just as stupid and unfair.

Bush and the Black Vote

Two months ago, I noted that the Kerry invitation to Al Sharpton to speak at the convention looked to me to be a sure sign that Kerry felt he need to shore up the African-American vote. Juan Williams discusses what Bush can do to court the black vote in today’s NY Times:

With a direct appeal, President Bush could win at least 20 percent of the black vote and the White House.

How can he attract those votes?

First, the field is open. Compared with previous Democratic campaigns, Mr. Kerry’s has done a poor job of reaching out to black voters. As Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000, said recently, “Don’t expect me to go out and say John Kerry is a great man and a visionary if you’re not running ads on African-American or Hispanic cable networks. Fair is fair. So send my dad a postcard, send my sisters a bumper sticker.” The Kerry campaign has also been notable for its lack of blacks and Hispanics among the candidate’s top advisers. And Mr. Kerry has rarely been identified with issues that compel black voters – notably affirmative action.

Second, it’s increasingly clear that blacks are no longer willing to vote as a bloc, automatically lining up with the Democrats. This is particularly true of younger black voters. A 2002 poll by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research group based in Washington, found a shift in the political identification of black voters. For example, 34 percent of 18- to 25-year-old black voters identified themselves as independents. Overall, 24 percent of black Americans of all ages see themselves as independents – a four percentage point increase since the 2000 election. And now 10 percent of blacks call themselves Republican, a six percentage point rise since 2000.

Young black Americans seem ready for a forthright conversation about race and politics. While many older blacks responded with anger to Bill Cosby’s recent call for poor black people to take more responsibility for their problems, the young people I encountered were uniformly supportive of Mr. Cosby’s words.

It’s worth noting that for this group, the president has an issue with considerable appeal: school vouchers. Despite strong opposition from civil rights leaders (and Democrats), 66 percent of blacks and 67 percent of Hispanics favor vouchers, according to a recent Newsweek poll. That is higher than the 54 percent of whites who say they want to see vouchers used to give students access to better schools.

Third, Mr. Bush has a network to make a pitch to black voters – the black church. Despite some bumps along the way, black churches remain generally enthusiastic about the president’s faith-based initiative. The president has used his appearances before faith-based groups as a way to communicate with black Americans. It was no surprise that Mr. Bush used a speech to ministers to condemn Senator Trent Lott for expressing kind words about Strom Thurmond’s segregationist past.

Kudos to Mr. Williams for finally admitting what we have all known for several years:

Interestingly, the anger predates the post-election sparring in Florida. It has its roots in an ad, run nationally by the N.A.A.C.P., that implied that Mr. Bush, as governor of Texas, did not want to punish the white men who attacked and killed James Byrd Jr., a black man, in Jasper, Tex., in 1998.

The ad distorted a complex situation. As governor, Mr. Bush took the conventional conservative position that hate crimes legislation could lead to a dangerous increase in prosecutorial power. Mr. Bush argued that there were adequate criminal penalties to punish Mr. Byrd’s assailants. No matter: the N.A.A.C.P. broadcast its ad. Mr. Bush, who won 30 percent of the black vote and 47 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 1998 gubernatorial campaign, was introduced to minorities as a man willing to stand with white lynch mobs.