We are the most powerful nation in the world. There is no excuse, only corruption.

Alberto Gonzales, Albritton Communications, Ari Fleisher, Baker Botts, Barack Obama, Beck, Brewster Jennings, Brit Hume, Broadcatching, Broder, Carlyle Group, Childhood Literacy, CIA, D.C., David Frum, David Gregory, David Ignatius, Dick Cheney, Eisenhower, Executive Power, George Stephanapoulos, George W. Bush, Halliburton, Health Care, Housing, Hunger, Infant Mortality, Iran, Iraq, John Harris, Justice Department, K Street, Karl Rove, KBR, Kellogg Brown Root, Krauthammer, Kristol, Limbaugh, Lobbyists, Meet The Press, Michael Gerson, Michael Wolff, Military Industrial Complex, Neocons, New York Times, O'Reilly, Pentagon, Politico, Ronald Reagan, Scooter Libby, Think-Tanks, Tim Russert, Torture, Valerie Plame, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Will, Wiretapping

We are the most powerful nation in the world. There is no excuse, only corruption.

On a Plane Ride Home From Paris Sitting Next to a Douchebag With an Ed Hardy Shirt Reading Glenn Beck's Book

Alberto Gonzales, Albritton Communications, Ari Fleisher, Baker Botts, Barack Obama, Beck, Brewster Jennings, Brit Hume, Broadcatching, Broder, Carlyle Group, Childhood Literacy, CIA, D.C., David Brooks, David Frum, David Gregory, David Ignatius, Dick Cheney, Duct Tape, Eisenhower, Executive Power, George Stephanapoulos, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George Will, Haditha, Halliburton, Health Care, Housing, Hunger, Infant Mortality, Iran, Iraq

TEEVEE1

1441!

by John Tully
The New York Herald Sun
July 26, 2009


Whether it was Michael Wolff’s “piece” in Vanity Fair on Politico or the Paris tap water that produced the explosive diarrhea on a hot sweaty July night in the City of Lights, we’ll never know…

Time moves both slow and fast in these Dog Days of Summer and the memory hole of the past eight bloody years is fading and digging deeper.

I take you back to the city of D.C.

A few years ago…
A quaint city, soon to written about like Rome, gilded on their own lily and pathetic to boot.

Sucked in to television, watching the camera moves, editing, and heavy music to a story about a mom and a dad and a wife who lose their little/big man to a fiery explosion in Iraq. The soldier leaves a “just in case” final video for his bride, tells her of his deep love, and urges her to go on with life: “get married, have kids”  It’s a noble gesture from a brave young man and the camera cuts to the weeping widow watching the tape.

The evening news comes on and the 80 year-old man who marched against Iraq in a February freeze watches a report on two dead Marines and 17 Iraqi dead civilians . Remember seeing that look on the face of the Marines’ mother or the site of yet another widow with two babies that finally punches the gut.

At this point in the war,  President Bush hadn’t been to one funeral service for them.

Remember.

Remember banned television cameras at the arrival of the bodies from Germany, at the base in Delaware .

The cowering, obedient press corpse giving the President a free pass after 9/11 and the Administration using it to make the United States less safe, less secure, and spoil environmental and geopolitical progress for years to come.

Remembering Television and Freedom Fries and Terror Alerts here in Paris 6  years later, the mind once again boggles and crunches the serious, sad, mistaken war of choice that ignored all plans and warnings of consequences.

Powered by arrogance and breathtaking hubris and television’s Meet The Press and This Week With Will for the latest talking points of the day.

MR. RUSSERT: All right, this way: Should the blogs, talk radio, cable TV—should people lower their voices, and, and, and control their rhetoric?

Remember that very same week when the Vice-President poked a fat finger in the eye of Russia while the Bush Administration reflexively rejected the first written communication from Iran in seventeen years. Neither Vice President Cheney’s speech or the letter was ever mentioned on either program.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had blown the cover of longtime C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame who it turns out was working on nuclear proliferation. Her contacts through front company Brewster Jennings were actively working the underground nukes world. That intel might have been helpful that very same week in dealing with Iran.

Instead, the latest Cool-Kids Media Club Memes emerged: “Anger on the Blogs”

That’s right. Three different allusions to blogs and anger on both Meet The Press and This Week complete with an obligatory question from Tim Russert to new/old ham Newt Gingrich.

Schmuck David Brooks, perpetual mealy-mouthed defender of the Bush administration throwing out his  shoulder shrugging off the incident at Haditha in front of two shocked Marines: Mark Shields and Jim Lehrer.

Remember when columnist Tony Blankley said the war protests were organized by the communist party and the Press corps labeled Al Gore as Crazy for his pre-war criticism about invading Iraq.
How about when war hero Max Cleland was derisively compared to both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in a television advertisement by his republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss during their Senate race? Mr. Cleland lost his legs and an arm during Vietnam but the republican claimed the democrat was soft on National Security. Mr. Chambliss sat out the war with a bad knee.

Go back in time and recall when Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had no idea how many Americans had been killed in Iraq and called the idea of two hundred thousand troops needed in Iraq as  “wildly off the mark”

It’s apparent that there Was Not a massive intelligence failure and the administration indeed was warned about the vagueness of the information about Iraq.

Remember that classic “Everybody thought-even-France and Germany” song about W.M.D.’s.
The Memory-Hole pieces together the events of the past six years but can never illuminate fully how one of the most brilliant countries in history could now be cowardly defending war atrocities and blaming, as Mr. Blankley said that very same week about the incident at Haditha: “Over reporting by a gleeful media is more damaging than any single fact”

Come to think of it-maybe that gleeful, fluffy, Politico piece that completely failed to mention the publication’s Reagan connection was responsible for that gut bomb the other night.

Either way, I’m still sick as a dog.

JT

Paris, France

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Protesters, Officers Clash Violently In Iran's Streets

Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Tehran

Street Protests Continue in Downtown Tehran

47615515

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Over 1,000 demonstrators gather in Tehran, continuing to protest the June 12 presidential election. Security forces fire tear gas and beat protesters. Many people wear masks to hide their identities.

By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi

8:05 AM PDT, July 9, 2009

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut — Violent clashes erupted today in downtown Tehran between more than a thousand determined young men and women chanting, “Death to the dictator” and “God is great” and security forces wielding truncheons.

The screams of a woman being beaten could be heard from nearby buildings, a witness said. Business owners could be seen hustling protesters into their buildings to shield them from plainclothes officers and anti-riot police who fired tear gas canisters.

Passing drivers and motorcyclists honked their horns and flashed the “V” sign in support of the clumps of demonstrators. At least one trash bin was set afire, a witness said, sending a plume of black smoke rising as dusk approached.

Many of the demonstrators wore surgical masks to protect their identities from cameras stationed at adjacent buildings. They could be seen escaping into side streets and regrouping as shops quickly were shuttered.

Some witnesses said pro-government Basiji militiamen also could be seen wearing masks to hide their faces from digital cameras.

Protesters chanted in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was defeated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in disputed elections last month, and urged the security forces to join them.

Uniformed security forces on motorcycles wearing black helmets and plainclothes officers had blocked off streets around Revolution Square, near the Tehran University epicenter of the protest. The Basiji militiamen could be seen fanning out throughout side streets to block demonstrators trying to flee. Armored police vans to haul away protesters could be seen parked along the roadways.

But as the militiamen tried to drag away demonstrators, one witness said, protesters joined together to overpower them and rescue their comrades. The witness also said he saw some women with their headscarves pulled off being forced into police vans. Another woman taking pictures with her cellphone camera was dragged away.

Despite the lack of formal organization and leadership, thousands of people in cities across Iran were determined to march today in unauthorized demonstrations to show their discontent over Ahmadinejad’s reelection and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of a violent confrontation between students and security forces.

Tehran Gov. Gen. Morteza Tamaddon said earlier today that any protesters would receive a “crushing” response, and security forces appeared to be responding brutally at times to the attempt at a public demonstration. One witness described how five Basiji militiamen pummeled an elderly lady who loudly warned them that they would receive their comeuppance on Judgment Day.

Tammadon said, “The enemies of the Iranian nation are angry with the postelection calm in Iran and try to damage it through their TV channels.”

Ahmadinejad’s June 12 reelection, marred by opposition allegations of massive vote-rigging, has created the biggest political rift within the nation since the first years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A movement built on Mousavi’s campaign continues to challenge authorities, who have attempted to crush dissent by beating and jailing demonstrators.

The Guardian Council, which oversaw the vote and a limited recount, announced Wednesday that it would publish an 80-page report addressing complaints about the election to submit to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian people, according to the pro-government Fars news agency.

Iranian hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami publicly denied reports that some clergy were gathering signatures to remove or reduce the power of Khamenei, according to Fars, an unusual comment that some analysts said only served to heighten rumors that such a move was afoot.

The Assembly of Experts, which oversees the office of the supreme leader, is led by Khamenei’s rival, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, within Iran’s unique political system, which grants the clergy absolute rule under a theological concept known as Velayat Faqih, or the guardianship of jurisprudence.

“I reassure the great Iranian nation that the Assembly of Experts will protect Velayat Faqih and will carry out its duty, which is safeguarding Velayat Faqih,” said Khatami.

daragahi@latimes.com

Mostaghim is a special correspondent.

Twitter Downtime Rescheduled So Crucial Updates From Iran Can Be Posted

Iran, Mainstream Media, Twitter

twitblog

Down Time Rescheduled

A critical network upgrade must be performed to ensure continued operation of Twitter. In coordination with Twitter, our network host had planned this upgrade for tonight. However, our network partners at NTT America recognize the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran. Tonight’s planned maintenance has been rescheduled to tomorrow between 2-3p PST (1:30a in Iran).

Our partners are taking a huge risk not just for Twitter but also the other services they support worldwide—we commend them for being flexible in what is essentially an inflexible situation. We chose NTT America Enterprise Hosting Services early last year specifically because of their impeccable history of reliability and global perspective. Today’s decision and actions continue to prove why NTT America is such a powerful partner for Twitter.

posted by @Biz at 4:17 PM

The World is Pissed

Barack Obama. Global Financial Crisis, E.U., Emerging Markets, France, G-20, IMF, Iran, NATO, Prague, Robert Gibbs, Russia, Strasbourg, UK
March 29, 2009

Obama Will Face a Defiant World on Foreign Visit

WASHINGTON — President Obama is facing challenges to American power on multiple fronts as he prepares for his first trip overseas since taking office, with the nation’s economic woes emboldening allies and adversaries alike.

Despite his immense popularity around the world, Mr. Obama will confront resentment over American-style capitalism and resistance to his economic prescriptions when he lands in London on Tuesday for the Group of 20 summit meeting of industrial and emerging market nations plus the European Union.

The president will not even try to overcome NATO’s unwillingness to provide more troops in Afghanistan when he goes on later in the week to meet with the military alliance.

He seems unlikely to return home with any more to show for his attempts to open a dialogue with Iran’s leaders, who have, so far, responded with tough words, albeit not tough enough to persuade Russia to support the United States in tougher sanctions against Tehran. And he will be tested in face-to-face meetings by the leaders of China and Russia, who have been pondering the degree to which the power of the United States to dominate global affairs may be ebbing.

Mr. Obama is unlikely to push for specific commitments from other countries on stimulus spending to bolster their own economies, White House officials acknowledged Saturday in a teleconference call, despite the fact that administration officials would like to see European countries, in particular, increase their spending to try to prompt a global economic recovery.

“Nobody is asking any country to come to London to commit to do more right now,” said Michael Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. Instead, world leaders at the meeting will try to “do whatever is necessary to restore global growth,” Mr. Froman said.

The challenges stem in part from lingering unhappiness around the world at the way the Bush administration used American power. But they have been made more intense by the sense in many capitals that the United States is no longer in any position to dictate to other nations what types of economic policies to pursue — or to impose its will more generally as it intensifies the war in Afghanistan and extracts itself from Iraq.

“There is a direct challenge under way to the paradigms that America has been trying to sell to the rest of the world,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a former China division chief at the International Monetary Fund. The American banking collapse, which precipitated the global meltdown, has led to a fundamental rethinking of the American way as a model for the rest of the world. Yet even as his presence stirs opposition to particular American policies, Mr. Obama is being welcomed by many Europeans as an embodiment of American ideals.

In Prague, where Mr. Obama will stop later in the week, local officials are installing a hot line for residents to find out about street closings. In Strasbourg, France, site of a NATO meeting, protesters are planning an “international resistance camp” with antiwar actions designed to press Mr. Obama to get American troops out of Afghanistan. In Istanbul, his last stop, workers are polishing up the Hagia Sophia basilica-cum-mosque-cum-museum for the expected visit.

“The rest of the world is yearning for him,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard economist. “On the one hand, they’ll all be criticizing him, and criticizing the American model. But they all want to hear that he does have a miracle to deliver.”

The quandary has left senior advisers to Mr. Obama scrambling to come up with a way for him to project both American power and the new cooperative international model that his aides have been promising.

Mr. Obama will try to show confidence that his stimulus and economic program will work, administration officials said, while conceding that it may take time. He will say that he has put all the pieces in place to fix the American economy, while acknowledging that in a global system nations cannot put up walls to protect their individual economies.

Robert D. Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, said the president “must demonstrate to the world that he understands that it’s not just about saving ourselves.”

And Mr. Obama must try to do all of that in the middle of a global recession for which most of the world blames the United States. “The U.S. brand name has clearly suffered from this crisis, and the rest of the world is no longer willing to sit quietly and be lectured by the United States on how they should conduct economic policy,” Mr. Rogoff said.

A senior Obama administration official acknowledged that it would be harder for Mr. Obama to exhort other countries to adopt the American model. But Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said Saturday in the conference call that Mr. Obama “is going to listen in London, as well as to lead.”

“Many of the things we’ve done in the past week demonstrate that America is leading by example,” he said.

In the past, American officials traveled to India, Brazil, China and South Africa and lectured government officials on the need for open markets, free trade and deregulation. But now some of those very policies — particularly deregulation — are viewed as the culprits for the recent economic collapse.

“Emerging markets now think they can do what they want without hectoring from the United States,” said Mr. merging Markets, Prasad, the former monetary fund official.

Compounding the problem for Mr. Obama is that the route that he has chosen to lead the United States out of the mess — heavy government spending — is not available to many other countries. European governments, for instance, are far more lukewarm about enormous stimulus programs because they already have strong social safety nets, and more fears of inflation, than does the United States.

So when Mr. Obama meets with other world leaders in London, he will be confronting a philosophical divide, with the United States on the defensive not just on economic issues like trade and financial regulation but also on a variety of national security and diplomatic matters.

After he leaves London, Mr. Obama will go to the French-German border for a NATO meeting at a time when European governments, under pressure from their populations, are looking for the exit doors in Afghanistan even as the United States sends more troops and money.

Administration officials had initially said they hoped to get more troop contributions at the NATO meeting; now they do not even talk about securing more troops from the Europeans, in a tacit acknowledgment that the forces will not be coming.

“I hope that Afghanistan will not be Obama’s war, because it should be owned by all of us,” said NATO’s secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

But there are already twice as many American troops as NATO troops in Afghanistan, and “Europe will never be able to match the numbers of the Americans in Afghanistan,” Mr. de Hoop Scheffer said. The NATO summit meeting, he said, “will not be about troop contributions.”

In Prague, Mr. Obama will confront an Eastern Europe nervous about Russian attempts to reassert itself in an area that Moscow views as its backyard. Mr. Obama has taken pains to reassure Russia that his administration will tread carefully regarding Bush administration plans to locate a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Yet in placating Russia, Mr. Obama has raised hackles in Poland, where officials seek closer ties to the United States.

Colin Powell's Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson Reveals the Truth About Gitmo and Graib

Abu Graib, AEI, Al Qaeda, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, David Addington, David Wurmser, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams, Guantanamo, Iran, Iraq, John Negroponte, Lawrence Wilkerson, Military Industrial Complex, Neocons, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Think-Tanks