Well, my inner defeatist has triumphed over my better intentions. Considering I have nothing to add in terms of half-enlightened commentary to this ongoing circus - and have chosen to sit back and enjoy/mock the Spectacle - I will therefore no longer be maintaining this blog.
I'd like to thank my partners in crime who have contributed to the site throughout the year - Montag, BDR, Mike and CultureGhost.
On the other side, "ridiculous and blatant falsehoods" will appear. On our side, we will show little sign of knowing how to react to these falsehoods. Al Gore said he invented the Internet! And not only that: European health care has failed everywhere it’s ever been tried!
Neither one of those statements is true. Each statement might be called a "blatant and ridiculous falsehood." But so what? In 1999 and 2000, one of those unrebutted falsehoods cost you the White House, and gave you Iraq. (Liberals still refuse to discuss this.) The other falsehood is currently helping drive health reform down to defeat.
Somerby cares a lot about political issues, and does some finest, most astute media criticism around. Incisive, and instructive, the body of Somerby's work might lead one to ask, "Why can't Democratic politicians and liberal pundits and editorialists get their message across above the din of the Right Wing Noise Machine?"
Here at Agitprop, we offer the public service of providing an answer. Hewing to Occam's razor, the simplest explanation most certainly is this: Democratic politicians, liberal pundits and editorialists aren't, in good faith, trying.
Take the health care debate. First off, let's note that this is not a debate about giving people health care; it's about getting people on health insurance.
At first blush, it appears to be a clash of ideals between those advocating some sort of national, publicly financed health service with access to free primary care for all; and those advocating not-in-my-country-Commie-shut-the-fuck-up-or-I'll-shoot-your-fucking-face-off.
But it's so much less than that.
When you go into the smoke filled rooms, the halls of congress, the closed door white house negotiations, this is a debate over whether a law to require everyone to purchase health insurance should or shouldn't include the option, (for 10 million people, tops,) of a government operated insurance plan.
British-style health service? Off the table.
Japanese-style universal non-profit health insurance, and price-controls on medical services? Off the table.
Single payer "Medicare for all"? Off the table.
All that racket from the Right Wing Noise Machine? That's aimed at you, Rube. Your Democratic officials, are exactly where they mean to be. Just ask Charles Davis.
(CNN) — John McCain said Sunday night he hasn't personally seen signals Condoleezza Rice is interested in running as vice president, following a report the Secretary of State is angling for the No. 2 spot on the Republican presidential ticket.
"I missed those signals," McCain told reporters on his campaign plane. "I think she’s a great American, I think there’s very little that I can say that isn’t anything but the utmost praise for a great American citizen, who served as a role model to so many millions of people in this country and around the world."
Funny what a quick google search of "Condoleezza Rice" and "missed signals" will tell you about the prospect of the Good Dr. being a potential VP pick...
In 2000, after an Algerian was caught coming into the country with explosives, a secret White House review recommended a crackdown on "potential sleeper cells in the United States." That review warned that "the threat of attack remains high" and laid out a plan for fighting terrorism. But most of that plan remained undone.
Last spring, when new threats surfaced, the Bush administration devised a new strategy, which officials said included a striking departure from previous policy — an extensive C.I.A. program to arm the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan. That new proposal had wound its way to the desk of the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and was ready to be delivered to the president for final approval on Monday, Sept. 10.
The government's fight against terrorism always seemed to fall short.
The Sept. 11 attack "was a systematic failure of the way this country protects itself," said James Woolsey, a former director of central intelligence. "It's aviation security delegated to the airlines, who did a lousy job. It's a fighter aircraft deployment failure. It's a foreign intelligence collection failure. It's a domestic detection failure. It's a visa and immigration policy failure."
Claiming that President Bush's foreign policy agenda has been "hijacked," some prominent conservatives want the "incompetent" Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice transferred to an advisory role, according to an article in a conservative magazine, RAW STORY has found.
"Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration’s national security and foreign policy agenda," reports Insight Magazine.
In August, it turns out, the President was briefed by the CIA on the possibility that al-Qaeda, the terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden, might use hijacked airliners to win concessions from the U.S. Sources tell TIME that the briefing, which was first reported by CBS News, was in response to a request by Bush for detailed information on the kind of threat posed by al-Qaeda, not to American interests overseas — which had long preoccupied the spooks — but at home. During the period in which the brief was prepared, says a senior intelligence official, the CIA came to the conclusion that "al-Qaeda was determined to attack the U.S." After the strike came, White House sources concede, the Administration made a conscious decision not to disclose the August briefing, hoping that it would be discussed "in context"--and months later — when congressional investigations into the attacks eventually got under way. And that wasn't the only embarrassing paper kept under wraps. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported new details from a July 2001 memo by an FBI agent in Phoenix, Ariz., who presciently noted a pattern of Arab men signing up at flight schools. The agent, Kenneth Williams, 42, has spent 11 years working in an FBI antiterrorism task force. He recommended an investigation to determine whether al-Qaeda operatives were training at the schools. He was ignored, and after the existence of the memo became known, the FBI insisted that even if it had been acted upon, it would not have led to the detention of the Sept. 11 hijackers. (Only one of them, Hani Hanjour, had trained in Arizona, and did so before Williams focused on flight schools.) But sources tell TIME that at least one of the men Williams had under watch — a Muslim who has now left the U.S.--did indeed have al-Qaeda links. And Williams identified a second pair of suspected Islamic radicals now living in the U.S. as resident aliens, the sources say. They are currently under FBI surveillance. As if those missed signals weren't enough, last week it was also disclosed that in August, when the U.S. detained Zacarias Moussaoui — a man the French government knew was associated with Islamic extremists and who apparently wanted to learn to fly jumbo jets but not land them, and has since been charged with complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks — the FBI told nobody in the White House's Counterterrorism Security Group. But the csg, which comes under the aegis of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, is supposed to coordinate the government's response to terrorist threats.
In May 2003, shortly after the U.S. military destroyed the army of Saddam Hussein, a fax arrived at the State Department with an Iranian offer to open talks that would include a discussion of weapons of mass destruction.
The one-page document was written by Sadegh Kharazi, Iran's ambassador to France and nephew of Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and passed on by the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represented U.S. interests in Iran, a former administration official said.
The official, who saw the document, said it indicated that Iran wanted to negotiate a grand political bargain with the United States that would include everything from Iran's nuclear program to its support for groups that Washington regards as terrorist.
"The Iranians acknowledged that WMD and support for terror were serious causes of concern for us, and they were willing to negotiate," said Flynt Leverett, a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council who said he read the document. "The message had been approved by all the highest levels of authority. They wanted us to deal with sanctions, security guarantees, normalization of relations, and support for integration of Iran into the World Trade Organization."
The administration's reluctance to enter into new talks with Iran was displayed by the president's State of the Union address in January 2002, where he labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea members of an "axis of evil." The administration set the goal of establishing a reformist democracy in Iran to replace the mullahs as well as to roll back Tehran's nuclear program.
Bush has now stepped up his campaign for reformist democracy in Iran. During his last State of the Union address, he appealed to the people of Iran to "win their own freedom" and promised "one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran." Last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced an $85 million program to promote political change in Iran by subsidizing dissident groups and outside radio broadcasts.
(my emphasis added)
I could go on and on, but in my humble opinion, Condoleezza Rice is the perfect addition to this particular Presidential bid. Exactly the caliber of foreign policy expertise to meet the high standards set by John McCain.
The Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm is coming Easter Weekend, March 21-23. If you wish to participate, write a post to your blog in favor of the Constitutional guarantee of the separation of Church and State, and submit the URL via this online form. More details are available at the Blog Against Theocracy website.
Due to overwhelming demand (2 of you!), we bring you the return of the Weekend Wingnut Roundup.
Ace of Spades - that liberal search engine Google has purged my blog from it's database. All Things Beautiful - there are only two sorts of Muslims: those that will convert you to Islam at the point of a gun, and the dead ones. American Thinker - I define the mainstream view of the Middle East as unquestioning support for Israel even if they start nuking things. Atlas Shrugs - Hezbollah stole their logo from Otto Preminger. Blogs for Bush - we compassionate conservatives think that asking Tom DeLay to pay taxes on his cigars so that children can have health insurance is just not, well, compassionate. Blue Crab Boulevard - if Al Gore gets his way on global warming, millions of Australians will have to stop breathing. Captain's Quarters - how dare Democrats criticize David Vitter for paying for sex when Clinton and Ted Kennedy did the same ... what? Oh. Confederate Yankee - fresh off my humiliation in the Jamil Hussein kerfuffle, I'm now going to question the existence of one of TNR's sources. GOP Bloggers - ten Friedmans from now we'll look back and see all the ponies that the MSM is currently covering up. Hot Air (Allahpundit)- billing records may undo Fred Thompson even though they failed to undo Hillary. Hugh Hewitt - Senate Republicans' failure to do the people's will and start withdrawing the troops can only help Senate Republicans. Instapundit - phoning it in again, I'll link to this Dean Barnett piece that ignores the sacrifices of the baby boomers in Vietnam and instead accuses them of insufficient Cold War cheerleading. Little Green Footballs - Muslim kids with toy guns scare the living shit out of us. Macsmind - despite being against the law, revealing the name of a covert agent is, in reality, good old-fashioned public relations. Michelle Malkin - like Confederate Yankee before me, I'm jumping into this Scott Thomas thing with both feet ... Jamil who? NRO (Jonah Goldberg) - as usual I have nothing useful to add, so I'll just link to my own post over at Cato wherein I tell poor people they're not getting any help at all if I have anything to do with it. NRO (Michael Rubin) - freedom of speech is absolute unless you're even slightly critical of the war - in that case, shut the fuck up. NRO (Ramesh Ponnuru) - as usual I have nothing useful to add, so I'll just link to this Volokh piece proving that George W. Bush can legally tell Democrat investigators to go fuck themselves. Patterico's Pontifications - defecting Republicans must be outed, tarred, and feathered.
If we go over to Townhall right now, out collective heads will explode. Tune in again next week for yet another bold adventure into the wingnut blogosphere.
Those of you not frightened by the dreaded 1980s toy Lite Brite will be pleased to learn that Agitprop is now officially a group blog. I've been popping in and out of this site ever since I handed over the controls to Blogenfreude in late 2005.
Now, I have returned to help out while our gracious host is busy battling the NYC captains of industry (or whatever he's working on at the moment). Both Tata and Frederick [and Blue Gal - ed.] have joined in the party as well.
Earlier this week, I briefly considered taking a blogging position in the Gus Hall 2008 campaign. But then I learned about the fate of the Edwards campaign bloggers. They were tarnished by William Donohue of the Catholic League as "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash talking bigots".