Bill Maher | January 11 2008

9/11, Afghanistan, Bin Laden, Broadcatching, Consensus Journalism, D.C., Giuliani, Hillary, Imus, Obama, Oil, Politics, Rove

Bill Maher | January 11 2008


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9/11, Bin Laden, Rove

A Time for Grace
America needs unity in dealing with Iraq. That means the president must lead.

Friday, August 31, 2007 12:01 a.m.

What will be needed this autumn is a new bipartisan forbearance, a kind of patriotic grace. This is a great deal to hope for. The president should ask for it, and show it. Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will report to Congress on Sept. 11. From the latest metrics, it’s clear the surge has gained some ground. It is generally supposed that Gen. Petraeus will paint a picture of recent decreases in violent incidents and increases in safety. In another world, that might be decisive: It’s working, hang on.

At the same time, it’s clear that what we call Iraq does not wholly share U.S. objectives. We speak of it as a unitary country, but the Kurds are understandably thinking about Kurdistan, the Sunnis see an Iraq they once controlled but that no longer exists, and the Shia–who knows? An Iraq they theocratically and governmentally control, an Iraq given over to Iran? This division is reflected in what we call Iraq’s government in Baghdad. Seen in this way, the non-latest-metrics way, the situation is bleak.

Capitol Hill doesn’t want to talk about it, let alone vote on it. Lawmakers not only can’t figure a good way out, they can’t figure a good way through.

But we’re going to have to achieve some rough consensus, because we’re a great nation in an urgent endeavor. The process will begin with Gen. Petraeus’s statement.

Particular atmospherics, and personal dynamics, are the backdrop to the debate. People are imperfect, and people in politics tend to be worse: “Politics is not an ennobling profession,” as Bill Buckley once said. You’d better be pretty good going in, because it’s not going to make you better. Politicians are individuals with a thirst for power, honors, and fame. When you think about that you want to say, “Oh dear.” But of course “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

All sides in the Iraq debate need to step up, in a new way, to the characterological plate. From the pro-war forces, the surge supporters and those who supported the Iraq invasion from the beginning, what is needed is a new modesty of approach, a willingness to admit it hasn’t quite gone according to plan. A moral humility. Not meekness–great powers aren’t helped by meekness–but maturity, a shown respect for the convictions of others.

What we often see instead, lately, is the last refuge of the adolescent: defiance. An attitude of Oh yeah? We’re Lincoln, you’re McClellan. We care about the troops and you don’t. We care about the good Iraqis who cast their lot with us. You’d just as soon they hang from the skids of the last helicopter off the embassy roof. They have been called thuggish. Is this wholly unfair?

The antiwar forces, the surge opponents, the “I was against it from the beginning” people are, some of them, indulging in grim, and mindless, triumphalism. They show a smirk of pleasure at bad news that has been brought by the other team. Some have a terrible quaking fear that something good might happen in Iraq, that the situation might be redeemed. Their great interest is that Bushism be laid low and the president humiliated. They make lists of those who supported Iraq and who must be read out of polite society. Might these attitudes be called thuggish also?

Do you ever get the feeling that at this point Washington is run by two rival gangs that have a great deal in common with each other, including an essential lack of interest in the well-being of the turf on which they fight?

Not only hearts and minds are invested in a particular stand. Careers are, too. Candidates are invested in a position they took; people are dug in, caught. Every member of Congress is constrained by campaign promises: “We’ll fight” or “We’ll leave.” The same for every opinion spouter–every pundit, columnist, talk show host, editorialist–all of whom have a base, all of whom pay a price for deviating from the party line, whatever the party, and whatever the line. All this freezes things. It makes immobile what should be fluid. It keeps people from thinking. What is needed is simple maturity, a vow to look to–to care about–America’s interests in the long term, a commitment to look at the facts as they are and try to come to conclusions. This may require in some cases a certain throwing off of preconceptions, previous statements and former stands. It would certainly require the mature ability to come to agreement with those you otherwise hate, and the guts to summon the help of, and admit you need the help of, the other side.

Without this, we remain divided, and our division does nothing to help Iraq, or ourselves.

It would be good to see the president calming the waters. Instead he ups the ante. Tuesday, speaking to the American Legion, he heightened his language. Withdrawing U.S. forces will leave the Middle East overrun by “forces of radicalism and extremism”; the region would be “dramatically transformed” in a way that could “imperil” both “the civilized world” and American security.


Forgive me, but Americans who oppose the war do not here understand the president to be saying: Precipitous withdrawal will create a vacuum that will be filled by killing that will tip the world to darkness. That’s not what they hear. I think they understand him to be saying, I got you into this, I reaped the early rewards, I rubbed your noses in it, and now you have to save the situation.

His foes feel a tight-jawed bitterness. They believe it was his job not to put America in a position in which its security is imperiled; they resent his invitation to share responsibility for outcomes of decisions they opposed. And they resent it especially because he grants them nothing–no previous wisdom, no good intent–beyond a few stray words here and there.

And here’s the problem. The president’s warnings are realistic. He’s right. At the end of the day we can’t just up and leave Iraq. That would only make it worse. And it is not in the interests of America or the world that it be allowed to get worse.

Would it help if the president were graceful, humble, and asked for help? Why, yes. Would it help if he credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom? Yes. And if he tried it, it would make news. It would really, as his press aides say, break through the clutter. I don’t see how the president’s supporters can summon grace from others when they so rarely show it themselves. And I don’t see how anyone can think grace and generosity of spirit wouldn’t help. They would. They always do in big debates. And they would provide the kind of backdrop Gen. Petraeus deserves, the kind in which his words can be heard.

Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of “John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father” (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on


9/11, Bin Laden, Rove



9/11, Bin Laden, MSNBC, Rove



Lewis Scooter Libby was sentenced to jail today in Washington D.C.

9/11, Rove

Lewis Scooter Libby was sentenced to jail today in Washington D.C. for his role in covering up the illegal leaking of a C.I.A. undercover agents’ identity and lying to and misleading federal investigators from the F.B.I. and Justice Department about this activity.

What Modern Conservatism Is Really All About

9/11, Bin Laden, Rove

untitledunionjack1.jpg THEY ARE US May 27, 2007

The Sociopathic Disease of Conservatism

By F. Vyan Walton

I’ve made this argument – that Conservatism is a Disease – for quite sometime, but this will be one of the first times I really get down to the nitty gritty of it. It’s been my feeling that the modern day conservative cult that thrives in America is fueled by a low-grade form of anti-social pathology and compulsive-addictive disorder. They’re like Hate-Junkies. And the number one thing they hate are Liberals.

Recently the following screed was posted as a comment on my lonely little blog.

Anonymously – of course.

It began with “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder” – and went downhill from there.

Liberalism is a mental disorder,
This is the agenda of the Left. And they don’t even try to hide it:

1. Re-establish the “Fairness Doctrine” to silence Conservative Talk Radio
2. Insure the success of the Mexican (and other Third World) invasion and conquest of White America.
3. Disarm all law-abiding citizens
4. Silence all speech of which they disaprove by expanding the definition of “Hate Speech”, and pass laws to make such speech punishable by imprisonment.
5. Immediately surrender to the enemy in the Islamic War.
6. Establish Islam as a State-Protected Religion with assistance by CAIR and government schools.

My immediate response was the following.
If they “don’t try to hide it” could you find any single respected “Liberal” who openly, or even on the sly – endorses any of that crap?

My own view is…

1. Re-establish the “Fairness Doctrine” to silence Conservative Talk Radio.

The Fairness Doctrine would do no such thing. It would actually require that the News, be the News – while Equal Time for Commentary and Editorialism would be enforced.

2. Insure the success of the Mexican (and other Third World) invasion and conquest of White America.

By what – making them American too? I’d say that’s America conquering them.

3. Disarm all law-abiding citizens

Short 2nd Amendment Lesson, there’s nothing in there about law abiding citizens, law enforcement or even hunting. The 2nd Amendment is directed specifically at “a well regulated militia” being neccesary for the maintainance of freedom from tyranny. You in a Militia? No? Then it doesn’t apply to you.

4. Silence all speech of which they disaprove by expanding the definition of “Hate Speech”, and pass laws to make such speech punishable by imprisonment.

I do support enforcement and some moderate expansion of Hate Speech and FCC regulation of same. But not to stop such speech, simply to make it painful to be an asshole in public. If we can fine ABC for Janet Jackson’s titty we could fine Imus or Limbuagh, but they’d both still be on the air.

5. Immediately surrender to the enemy in the Islamic War.

Which Islamic War? – the one between the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq or the one in Afghanistan and Pakistan aginst Al Qaeda? In the former case, we’ve got no hunt in that fight. Do we side with the Sunni or the Shia? In the later case I’ve heard NO ONE suggest we should surrender to Al-Qeada or Hezbollah for that matter, in fact Democrats have been struggling to get Bush to send more troops to Afghanistan by taking them out of Iraq..

6. Establish Islam as a State-Protected Religion with assistance by CAIR and government schools.

Ok, that’s just ridiculous. Liberals and Progresses want protection from a state sponsored religion, y’know like the Pilgrims and the Quakers who were trying to escape the persecution of Henry VIII’s Anglican Church. Or for that matter – the Taliban.

Now I’d like to take my response a bit further, and rather than address the tit-for-tat points of Mr. Anonymous, consider exactly how anyone could come to believe such drivel. I understand of course, that these were merely boiler-plate cut-and-paste straw-man B.S. right-wing talking points. In understand that this person clearly hasn’t been reading my blog, or it’s crossposts on Dkos, Democratic Underground or OpedNews and hasn’t seen what I’ve already discussed concerning The I-Mess or Immigration or Hate Crimes Legislation. (Cuz y’know… Facts are for Pussies!) It’s clear that this just typical right-wing radio blather. I know that this is a form of Projection, making accusations of others that are simply fun-house mirror reflections of their own actual positions. (Liberlism is accused of being a “mental disorder”, when in all likelyhood it is Rabid Neo-Conservatism that is based on abnormal pathology),

I know he’s just a troll!.

I understand all this, but what I’ve always felt disturbing is how many people are more than willing to eat this stuff up and spew it right back out. Normally I wouldn’t care, except for one thing – I’m pretty sure all these deeply deluded people vote!

As I’ve written before on Hating the Enemy, (namely Liberals) the leaders of the right-wing movement are not at all shy about telling us how they feel and who we should be hating.

Let’s do a quick review (thanks to Media Matters) of some of the things that Republicans, including Hannity, regularly say about Democrats and Liberals.

Sean Hannity suggested that the DNC may have been behind the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos, asking: “Was that a DNC plot too?” (The Sean Hannity Show, 9/10/04)

Laura Ingraham stated that Democratic Sens. John Kerry (MA), Joseph R. Biden Jr. (DE), and Barbara Boxer (CA) are “on the side of” North Korea leader Kim Jong Il because they were opposed to John R. Bolton’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (Hannity & Colmes, 4/11/05).

Ann Coulter on Bill Clinton, “he was a very good rapist” and “molested the help” and on Al Gore, “Before we knew he was clinically insane” – “He seemed kinda gay”

Bill O’Reilly says he doesn’t do “personal attacks”, except of course for when he does.

On The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly has referred to media writer and Fox News Watch panelist Neal Gabler as a “rabid dog” and said of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “How nuts is this guy?” O’Reilly also said guest Christopher Murray “sounds like a fascist” for saying that that public institutions should not display religious symbols and called former Public Broadcasting System host Bill Moyers a “totalitarian.” Students at the University of Connecticut who heckled right-wing pundit Ann Coulter during her campus appearance there earned the title of “far-left Nazis” from O’Reilly. He’s also called John Kerry a “sissy”, and claimed that Bill Clinton would be welcomed as president by Osama bin Laden.

Jonah Goldberg has distorted comments by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), called syndicated columnist Helen Thomas a “thespian carbuncle of bile,” and accused former President Jimmy Carter of engaging in a “mildly ghoulish exploitation of Coretta Scott King’s funeral.”

Then of course there’s Michelle Malkin whose has claimed that “the vast majority of Hispanic politicians” believe that “the American Southwest belongs to Mexico;” has referred to certain Californian politicians as “Latino supremacists;” and characterized recent immigration protests as “militant racism” marked by “virulent anti-American hatred.”
All of these people, are playing The Fear Card. Fear the brown-skins and the darkies. Fear the muslims. Fear the fags. Fear the ACLU. And Fear the Liberals who somehow have this crazy idea that America is supposed to be somekind of “Land of the Free” where all kinds of weird and different and disgusting people are supposed to be able to “Seek the American Dream” or some such nonesense.

John Dean has written about this strategic re-writing of Americas History in his book “Conservatives without Conscience”

In their efforts to present conservatism as an American tradition, conservatives have also reinterpreted the U.S. Constitution. One of the key elements of the Constitution is the establishment of a unique republic, in that a federal system would coexist with state and local governments. Before it was ratified many opponents attacked its progressive and innovative nature, for far from representing teh status quo, the Constitution was dramatically liberal.

James Madison defended it in The Federalist Papers by explaining that the founders “have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom” but rather employed “numerous innovations… in favor of private rights and public happiness.” Madison sid that “precedent could not be discovered,” for there was no other government” on the face of the globe” that provided a model. Madison, the father of the Constitution, clearly saw his work as the opposite of conseratism.

Yet conservatives today continue to exploit xenophobia and paranoia of all things “progressive” all tucked up in nice neat American Flag wrapper of gingoism. Dean also argued that what currently drives the conservative movement is nothing less than Totalitarian Authoritarism. From his appearance on the Daily Show with John Stewart.

Dean: In dealing with that, in the Milgram experiments, where he brought people in off the street, and indeed found that he could get them to administer high voltage — what they thought was high voltage, and it wasn’t. I deal with that to show how people can set their conscience aside. In other words, how do people go into the CIA every day and carry out some of the orders for torture? How do people go into NSA and turn that incredible apparatus against Americans? This is a typical Milgram situation. I actually go beyond that to find the nature of the authoritarian personality that will follow a leader who is an authoritarian.

In Milgram it was shown that otherwise normal people would submit their own conscience to the will of an authority figure and would, if continually pushed to do so, administer a lethal level electric shocks despite the screams and protests of the intended victim. Compare this with the definition of a Sociapath.

Sociopaths are very egocentric individuals that lack a sense of personal responsibility and morality. They may be impulsive, manipulative, reckless, quarrelsome, and consistent liars. Sociopaths are usually unable to sustain relationships and have a total lack of remorse for their actions. The sociopath may also be very prone to aggressive, hostile, and sometimes violent behavior. This aggression may or may not lead to criminal behavior and often takes the form of domestic violence. Along with these other actions, sociopaths often engage in self-destructive behavior such as alcoholism or addiction to drugs. This, of course, usually worsens many aspects of the sociopathic behavior. Despite these previous symptoms, the sociopath may be an excellent actor, always appearing charming, calm, and collected. They usually have a normal or above normal intelligence level and good verbal fluency. It is these qualities that sometimes place the sociopath in leadership positions within their social groups and often make it hard to spot their “black side”.

Essentially Sociopaths have no conscience, no morality as we would describe it. Whereas Dean discusses the ability for ones conscience to be selectively suppressed under specific situations and in regards to specifics types or groups of individuals when directed by a “trusted authority”. Clearly, a true sociopath doesn’t need to be directed by others – and frankly wouldn’t allow it – yet their behaviors remain markedly similar.

We can see it in the way the Bill O’Reilly can be so charming at one moment and then a raging lunatic the next. We can see it in Douglas Feith as smilingly twists reality and facts regarding Saddam and Al-Qaeda into logical linguini. We can see it with Bill Kriston, Michelle Malkin, Katie O’Beirn and Ann Coulter. These people are the standard bearers of the right-wing. The “Authorities” to which many for which many of our fellow citizens are willfully neutered their own conscience in aquiesence to. Here’s an example from Dr. Bob Altemeyer, one of Dean’s primary sources, intoducing his new book – The Authoritarians.

For example, take the following statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it? Want to guess what they had in common?

Or how about a government program that persecutes political parties, or minorities, or journalists the authorities do not like, by putting them in jail, even torturing and killing them. Nobody would approve of that, right? Guess again.
The idea that “All Men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights” is lost on these people. All rights become optional, based on whether that person passes the proper litmus test. Maintaining Habaes Corpus is “giving terrorists special rights.” Monica Goodling did “nothing wrong” when she attempted to achieve ideological purity within the Justice Dept, that’s the way it should be. Tim Griffin did nothing wrong by systematically caging the votes of African-American Troops while their were serving in Iraq. Who said their opinion and vote should matter? War Crimes and Torture are good for our intelligence, that is if we did do the torture. Karl Rove is just so misunderstood. I need my tax money for the down payment on my second condo. The poor are just lazy and deserve what they get. Iraq had it coming. The President has the “inherent power” to do any damn thing he feels like. That Vanity Fair Media Whore Valerie Plame-Wilson had it coming too. Good healthcare is for those who can afford it. Whose Bin Laden, that Obama guy running for President? Free Libby! Climate Change is just a hoax and even if it’s not we didn’t do it – it was sunspots, or volcanos, or maybe all the animals in the rain-forest farted – so there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Stop bugging me, I need to refill the tank on my new Cadillac Escrapade, anyone got change for $1000?

See, I can do The Running-Man (from the 80’s) and the “Straw-man” too. I’m like Ambidextrous and stuff.

All of these arguements are about shifting blame and responsibility for all the ills of the world – to someone else. Anyone but us. It’s Them, always Them!

The real truth about being liberal is simply that you realize that we are all connected. Economically. Bio-chemically. Thermo-dynamically. What happens at the bottom of the ocean can change weather patterns across half the globe. What happens in a cave in Afghanistan can change an entire National pathology on the other side of the world. The truth about Liberals isn’t that we “Hate America First”, we love America’s promise and potential and are angered and disgusted when we see her fail to live up to that promise – that All Men Really Are Created Equal and that preserving and protecting those rights from government overreach – beside being “Really Hard Work” – is the primary goal of our nation,

With that view in mind we don’t fear or even really hate conservatives, we only hate what they’ve done to regress this nation back toward the type of totalitarian and repressives states that predated the Great Elightenment and the truly progressive vision that birthed this nation. Those regressive forces will always be there, but the tide of history is not on their side – it’s on ours.

We are the True Sons of Liberty (oh, look a Punk Rock reference!) – not them.

I don’t hate conservatives. I for one, pity them. They need help. (Treatment, Rehab, Deprogramming, a Colonic – anything!) Even if they don’t deserve it, certainly won’t seek it and won’t return it. If they honestly and openly ask for it, Liberals will provide it.

Does anyone believe conservatives would do the same?


Authors Website:

Authors Bio:
Born and Bred in South Central LA. I spent 12 years working in the IT Dept. for federal contractor Northrop-Grumman on classified and high security projects such as the B2 Bomber. After Northrop I became an IT consultant with the state of California in Sacramento and worked on projects with the Dept of Consumer Affairs and CalTrans, as well as projects for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. Now living in Los Angeles on my own independant web design company.



9/11, Bin Laden, Rove

 tullycast1.jpgThis is the first 17 minutes of the show including the opening video and monologue plus Bill gets the first interview with Michael Moore since his movie “Sicko” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Tags include: Michael Moore Bill Maher Sicko health insurance pharmaceutical doctor hospital coverage corporate greed patient Slovenia
Fahrenheit 9/11 Bowling For Columbine Roger And Me



9/11, Bin Laden, Rove

tullycast1.jpg Dennis Kucinich acts presidential, the Republican on the panel admits to not REALLY knowing how it’s going in Iraq, and Bill defends Alec Baldwin’s right to yell at his daughter. The model for “A Few Good Men”, former US Attorney David Iglesias, has a live sitdown with Bill and is promptly and rightly called a hero by Maher. It seemed like Mr. Iglesias was a little emotional and it was a very good moment. Richard Belzer was great, not interrupting with cute jokes right in the middle of great discussions like Dana Carvey did a few weeks back. The Baghdad bureau chief for NPR, Jamie Tarabay, told of how the Green Zone is a myth in that it’s more dangerous than the (red zone) and so she and her staff don’t stay there.

Republican Lisa Schiffren, the former speech-writer for Newt Gingrich among other things, tried to talking point her way out of a discussion involving Iraqi oil revenue and the money supposedly going towards reconstruction of the infrastructure…. “Well maybe things haven’t gone on line as fast…well I haven’t actually been there so I can’t speak for how things are” after the Baghdad bureau chief flatly says: “that’s just not true”

It’s sad how completely and utterly full of SHITE “these” people are.








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