Cheney, Perry, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Libya, War Crimes, War Criminals: Has The World Gone Mad! Bigots, Pathological Liars and Psychotic Personalities.
”There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.”
Michele Bachmann, Florida's own weekend tropical disturbance, showed Republicans she's not about to let Texas Gov. Rick Perry blow her out to sea.
After a weekend of whirling through the tea party heart of Florida, the Minnesota congresswoman is raising the conservative bar, leading with her chin on controversial issues and elevating her game by reaching out hard and far to independents and the disenchanted left. She may not have touched the indies or the unhappy semi-libs yet, but she's getting closer.
Make no mistake, Michele Bachmann wants to be president of the United States -- and I mean she's fixed on it like iron to a lodestone.
Those driving her campaign say she is as convinced as they are that the road to the Oval Office runs through Florida.
Sean Farrell, a Bachmann campaign foreman whose job it is to tie up his candidate's advance Florida itinerary, said she's working the state with great intensity.
"I think there's a teleprompter running 24-7 in her head saying, 'You can beat him, you can beat him."
Who is 'him'? I asked.
"It's anybody it needs to be. It was Romney. It was Pawlenty. It was Ron Paul. But right now," Farrell said,"... right this very minute it's Rick Perry. And you know what? We think if there is a gap, we're going to close it. We think Perry is taking Florida for granted, giving it a light buff while he concentrates his polish in other arenas. Bachmann meanwhile is beating the state like a drum and growing her following here."
Throughout the weekend Bachmann wore her heart on her sleeve, leaving nobody guessing where she stands on the issues.
Immigration? Illegals out.
Those who want to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling? They're "radical extremists."
Environmental Protection Agency? "We will turn out the lights and we’ll lock the doors,” she said to a burst of applause in Poinciana.
In Orlando Saturday she delivered an impassioned speech laced with biblical references to the Florida Family Policy Council’s Policy Awards Dinner. In it she talked about her parents' divorce, her mother's subsequent poverty and their refusal to seek public assistance. She described her personal conversion to Christianity and its importance in her life. And she affirmed her strong pro-life, pro-family stance.
Florida political consultants claim none of this is likely to hurt Bachmann among the GOP primary electorate, in which evangelicals and Catholics make up 30 to 40 percent.
But these questions remain: Has the time come for Bachmann's hard-right, fiscally and socially stringent campaign? God knows, it's been percolating for the last two presidential election cycles. Or will her views ultimately scare more moderate Republicans? Will they hit a wall with GOP strategists who want to back the candidate with the greatest ability to scoop up independents and Democrats in the general election?
Rick Perry, on the other hand, gets points because he's the "known quantity" in the presidential race. "Rick has been governor of Texas long enough for voters to know what he's about," Dallas political strategist Furman Wise told me. "He's the known quantity, an exciting but a less scary bet."
Here's where I part company with Wise and at least half a dozen Republican wags I saw drawing Bachmann-Perry comparisons on TV this weekend. All of them certified Perry as -- OK, a right-winger maybe, but -- the known antidote for a volatile flamethrower like Bachmann.
I beg to differ.
Bachmann is far the better known quantity. I didn't say she's the better quantity, understand, I'm still window shopping. But listen to her. She doesn't waffle. She's minimized her once-trademark "misspeaks." And -- with the exception of that first-she-hates-'em-now-she-loves-'em stance on farm subsidies -- she doesn't vary her positions from stump to stump. With the Minnesota congresswoman, pick an issue, think extreme right clear down the line and you're there -- the Bachmann platform.
Perry, however, has his pros and cons as a known quantity, or as any quantity -- the connest being that he's a former Democrat.
He was actually Al Gore’s Texas campaign manager in the 1988 presidential primaries.
So, you have to ask yourself, how conservative could a former Al Gore worker be? (To be fair, Perry did switch parties in 1990.)
Perry's top pro? As governor, he led Texas to the creation of 37 percent (close to 50 percent in some reports) of all the new jobs in the whole of the United States over the last two years.
And the man is a dynamic speaker, a prolific fundraiser, a former Air Force pilot and officer. He also accomplished major tort reform, particularly in the area of medical malpractice.
But he's also a Texan. Some pollsters say it's still too soon after George W. Bush for a Texan to win the White House again.
And Perry once proposed legislation for something called the Trans-Texas Corridor, which would have involved the building of a super highway between Mexico and Canada. It would have allowed trucks from Mexico to easily cross into and travel up and down the U.S. In the end, he did back off the proposal, which a slew of critics called "pro open borders." To this day, many think of Perry as “soft” on illegal immigration.
Another bone of contention here and there: In 2007, Perry issued an executive order making Texas the first state in the country requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive the three-shot vaccination series known as Gardasil, which supposedly guards against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most commonly transmitted sexual disease in the U.S. It was opposed in Texas in a big way, and many conservatives were shocked he signed the order.
Certainly Perry is on top in all recent national polls, and many state surveys, too. Mitt Romney is close but fading. The up-and-comer in the GOP race is the fighter, Michele Bachmann. Watch for her. She's improving in virtually every category of campaigning. Watching her closely this past weekend, I'll be mighty surprised if she doesn't hang around to give Perry major fits.
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
Hurricane Irene's death toll is up to 27 people so far, including an 11-year-old boy who was killed when a tree crashed through his Virginia apartment. But as the storm was raging up the East Coast—and just a few days before the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina—Michele Bachmann was on the campaign trail, and making some very callous, thoughtless statements about Irene.
In Florida—a state that knows from hurricanes, but was fortunately spared by Irene—Bachmann told a roomful of supporters that Hurricane Irene and the earthquake preceding it were, in fact, God's warning to Washington. The shocking quote:
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
Bachmann's blamed plenty on God before, including her decision to be a"submissive" wife, but linking a devastating natural disaster to her extreme radical views on the economy as Americans perished is particularly callous*. Watch the video via Mediaite:
* Speaking of callous: on the same FL campaign trail, Bachmann also said that in this terrible jobs climate, she would be "open" to actually lowering the minimum wage.
BREAKING: Perry Says He Hasn’t ‘Backed Off Anything’ In His Book, Still Thinks Social Security Is Unconstitutional
A leaked document apparently detailing United Nations preparations for its role in post-Gaddafi Libya reveals plans for the world body to deploy military observers and police officers to the North African country.
The 10-page document, apparently written by a special UN team led by Ian Martin, the former British head of Amnesty International, was obtained and published by Inner City Press, the UN watchdog website.
The document also outlines plans for UN-assisted elections in the next six to nine months.
"It's a very detailed plan really spelling out [roles for] military observers, UN, police; it says things like NATO has an ongoing role and there's some things the UN can do without a mandate from the Security Council," Matthew Russell Lee, who runs the Inner City Press website, told Al Jazeera.
"So that's what seemed so extraordinary about [the report].
"It doesn't set forward something like here's four different scenarios and let the Libyan people choose; it very much says lines like 'we have developed principles for the transition in Libya'. And you have to ask yourself, on behalf of whom and to benefit whom?"
The report calls for the deployment of 200 unarmed military observers and 190 UN police officers to serve as trainers.
But it says such a deployment would only be implemented if it was requested by Libyan authorities and authorised by the UN Security Council.
"If requested by the Libyans and authorised by the Council, the UN could contribute to confidence-building and to the implementation of agreed military tasks, through unarmed UN military observer (UNMOs).
"Such confidence-building might be necessary for the troops of the Gaddafi government which will find themselves under the control of hostile forces. The UNMOs might also act as some deterrence against ill treatment of the former enemy by rogue elements."
It also calls for the deployment of 61 civilian staff who will also be stationed in Libya in the first three months, both at a headquarters in Tripoli and at an office in Benghazi.
The UN is pushing for the creation of an interim government ahead of the polls.
"If the stablisation of Tripoli after the collapse of the Gaddafi government becomes such a major challenge that the transitional authorities seek more robust international assistance, this is a task clearly beyond the capacity of the UN," the plan states.
"In this situation, the only viable option to ensure a safe environment in Tripoli are the transitional authorities themselves, with the advice of those who are already assisting or advising them.
"The Security Council's 'protection of civilians' mandate implemented by NATO forces does not end with the fall of the Gaddafi government, and there, NATO would continue to have some responsibilities."
Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Benghazi, where the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) was based throughout the six-month conflict, said the plan was ambitious, adding that a lot needed to be done to improve communication between Tripoli, which rebels seized control of last week, and the stronger rebel-held parts of the country.
"The gear-up towards that [election deadline] is going to have to be very very quick, and many challenges lie ahead," our correspondent said.
Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, has called on the international community to work together to restore order in Libya and for an end to fighting in the country.
Robert Fisk: Prosecuting War Crimes? Be Sure to Read the Fine ...
It all depends, I think, on whether criminals are our friends (Stalin at the time) or our enemies (Hitler and his fellow Nazis), whether they have their future uses (the Japanese emperor) or whether we'll get their wealth more easily if they are out of the way (Saddam and Gadhafi). - 2011/08/28.
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Media Matters for America (blog) - - 1 hour ago
Are you a right-winger with an axe to grind and a book to sell? Having trouble getting anyone to pay attention to your expensive non-story about liberal evildoers? Then call Caroline May, intrepid reporter for Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller! ...
Daily Caller - - 6 hours ago
Former Department of Justice officials are calling for an investigation into current hiring practices, which they say have become politicized under Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration. Pajamas Media conducted an ...
In New Memoir, Dick Cheney Tries to Rewrite History
By Barton Gellman Monday, August 29, 2011 | View Comments Alex Brandon / AP Early critics have argued that Dick Cheney's forthcoming memoir, held under strict embargo until its official release on Aug. 30, is a predictable reprise of old arguments. ...See all stories on this topic »
Cheney Still Backs Waterboarding
USA Today (blog)
By David Jackson, USA TODAY Vice President Dick Cheney's book tour is underway, and he tells NBC News he has no regrets over controversial interrogation techniques he backed in the years after the 9/11 attacks. Asked specifically about waterboarding ...See all stories on this topic »
Docudharma:: Confessions of a War Criminal
Confessions of a War Criminal ... this letting war criminals walk around free thing- -kind of started with Kissinger. Or maybe Harry Truman, or maybe it goes back ...
5 Reasons Progressives Should Treat Ron Paul with Extreme Caution -- 'Cuddly' Libertarian Has Some Very Dark Politics
He's anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality and anti-education, and that's just the start…
Ron Paul-branded newsletters regular denounce the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a multiplicity of offensives, including being a sexual pervert. One of Paul's defenders claims that he actual thinks Dr. King was a hero, but in fact, in 2004, Ron Paul was the sole Congressman to vote against Congress' honoring of the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a piece of legilation that Dr. King's lobbying was instrumental in getting passed. Paul justified his vote on libertarian grounds, as the Act expanded the powers of the federal government. Furthermore, Paul explained his vote by saying, "[T]he Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty."
I CALL THAT SIMPLY BULLSHIT.