Friday, November 10, 2006

Job Hunting Tip for Out of Work Republicans

Now that the Democrats have taken control of Congress, hundreds of GOP Congressional staffers are now in a mad scramble for employment. "The hundreds of Republican staffers — not to mention more than a few Members — who will lose their jobs in the next few weeks are going to face a hostile marketplace on K Street as unemployed Republicans flood the market."

I really feel their pain. Really. That means the uber-patriots from GOP Congressional offices that shut down the Miami vote counting in 2000 below, are getting their pink slips soon.

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Judging from that manufactured display of outrage, it's clear that their best career path is to join the CapitalOne credit card marketing team. What's (Left) in YOUR Wallet?

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Miss ya already.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Flashback: Rumsfeld's Handshake With Saddam

So Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of genocide against Kurds in 1982. Shock and surprise. How many of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders will now use that as justification for the Iraq War? Never mind that the US had no problem with Saddam's genocide at the time. That famous picture of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand took place about a year later, long after we knew full well what went down.

But what was the context of that picture?

One problem with using the Google to surf the internets is that there's relatively little hard info pre-1990 to be found. That's not too surprising, since few people knew what the internet was in 1990. After a session of cleaning out my basement however, I came across this gem, a Newsweek from January 2, 1984. On the Periscope page is a news snippet describing the meetings leading up to that handshake:

"The Case for a Tilt to Iraq
The United States is definitely "moving to improve relations with Iraq," says one senior administration policymaker. The wave of Iranian-inspired terrorism in the Middle East is strengthening the case of those senior American officials who have been urging a U.S. Tilt toward Iraq. These officials argue that resuming diplomatic relations with Baghdad would serve as a kind of "diplomatic retaliation" against Iran. In addition, it would give Syrian President Hafez Assad "something else to worry about," in the words of one State Department source; Syria and Iraq are bitter rivals. Iraq severed ties with Washington in 1967. On his current stay in Baghdad, special envoy Donald Rumsfeld is sounding out officials on their willingness to resume relations. At the very least, Washington would want assurances that Iraq no longer harbors Abu Nidal and other terrorists. With the resumption of relations, Washington might help Iraq's oil exporting operations."

(Here's a jpg of the actual page for those lacking trust in my transcription skills.)

So we see clearly why Rumsfeld was for Saddam before he was against Saddam. How embarrassing for him, to be this wrong AND inconsistent at the same time. We also see that EVEN THEN it all revolved around oil, despite it being presented in an "oh by the way" tone in Newsweek.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cheer up! Congress is on the Job!

Take a look at our intrepid House of Representatives Armed Services Committee web page.

They've got a plan for Iraq! In fact, they've got an organized "Victory In Iraq" Caucus all set up and working to ensure our... well... Victory in Iraq!

Scroll down the page a little to the "Victory In Iraq Caucus" link for further details on all the excitement! I don't know about you, but I feel SO much better. Tip of the hat to Atrios for spotting this.

The Iraq War: We Told You So.

All right, I've tried to resist this for a long time. I really didn't want to do it. Well actually, I did. Here goes:

We Told You So. We Were Right. You Were Wrong.

The Iraq War is a devastating, bankrupting, economy destroying disaster. Each time you fill your tank up with $2 to 3+ gasoline, remember that:

We Told You So. We Were Right. You Were Wrong.

You don't remember that we warned you before the Iraq invasion? Well on October 14, 2002, six months before the invasion, the group I've been involved with, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, ran a full page ad in the New York Times entitled "They're Selling War. We're Not Buying". The ad spoke of how the war was marketed like a new product, and suggested that warning labels be attached to that product: "Warning: War Will Wreck the Economy"; "Warning: War Will Breed Terrorism"; "Warning: War Will Discredit America in the World's Eyes" and "Warning: War Will Take A Terrible Toll in Human Life".

In March 2003, BLSP marshaled 7 Nobel Prize winning economists and scores of other businesspeople to sign another New York Times full page ad, this time highlighting the economic cost of a war with Iraq. The message:

"Which is smarter? Spending $80 million a year to disarm Iraq peaceably -- or spending a thousand times more on a war? In a time of economic peril, such a crushing "war surcharge" could only be justified by a clear threat to our nation. Iraq presents no such threat."
On March 6, 2003 I had the opportunity to co-sign a letter to President Bush asking to speak with him concerning the economic consequences of war. That letter predicted lower stock prices, higher oil prices, lower consumer confidence, forced cuts in Federal state and local government programs, disrupted transportation, tourism and shipping and a backlash against American brands abroad. Of those predictions, all have come to pass at least somewhat except one: the stock market is higher than it was in 2003, partly fueled by huge gains in the defense and oil industries.

Of course, none of these ads and letters stopped the war from happening. BLSP didn't give up though. In March 2004 I had the privilege of representing BLSP in Washington unveiling a campaign kicked off by an ad in the New York Times signed by over 70 national business leaders titled: "Have you noticed what's happening to Chief Executives who lie?" and observed:

"We now know that the case the President made for his war was built almost entirely out of falsehoods."
Later, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the dysfunctional Federal response became obvious to all, again it was business leaders that connected the dots with the Iraq War's drain on our resources, observing:

"They died because the infrastructure of this great nation has been allowed to go to hell in favor of war in Iraq. They died because the National Guardsmen who could have saved lives were shipped off to that war.

The myopia is mind-boggling. This very year hurricane protection projects around Lake Pontchartrain were slashed by 79%. Flood prevention projects in New Orleans took a 53% hit. The Corps of Engineers leader who complained was ousted. FEMA was gutted. Nothing not shaped like a Pentagon got adequate funding from this administration."
Now we see the result of this war. Cost estimates range in the trillions. Well over 2,600 American soldiers killed, as well as over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Anti-American fervor is at a fever pitch in the Islamic world. We have lost all trace of respect and political capital in the world. We're generating hundreds of billions of new government debt owed to foreign governments largely as a result of this disaster. Oil is so expensive that when it drops below $70 per barrel, it's treated as good news. Sectarian violence and anarchy rules in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction found, save some leftover spoiled canisters that the Reagan administration sold to Saddam in the 80's.

We Told You So.

If you're a businessperson, go join BLSP so the message can continue. If you're not a businessperson, go join their sister group True Majority. Enough is enough.