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BillyFact: Baghdad Bob v. Neocons Retro Edition

As Iraq implodes in a cloud of sectarian violence, virtually every neocon who dragged America into a catastrophic war there under the falsest of pretenses has come out of the woodwork to backseat drive for the grownups now in charge. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Miller, Wolfowitz, Kristol, McCain, Feith….shall I continue or would you prefer I take pity on your gag reflex?

This seems like a good time to pause and remember Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf...aka "Baghdad Bob." He was the Iraqi Information Minister who issued statements before and during the invasion that were so outrageous they kept us smirking for months.  ("We have destroyed two tanks, fighter planes, two helicopters and their shovels!")  He even spawned a popular fan site that's way out of date but still live. Let's hop in our scratched-and-dented wayback Humvee and fact-check some of the classic 2003 rants of Baghdad Bob.  Was he really wrong about everything? The answer may shock you…

"I speak better English than this villain Bush!" [TRUE!]

Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, aka
Baghdad Bob during a
matinee performance
"You have ruined the reputation of the American people in the most terrible way! Shame on you!" [TRUE!]

"The midget Bush and that Rumsfield [sic] deserve only to be beaten with shoes by freedom loving people everywhere." [TRUE!]

"They are a superpower of villains, really. They are a super power of Al Capone. This is the real reputation of this gang." [TRUE!]

"The American people are not stupid, they are very clever. I can't understand how such clever
people came to elect such a stupid president." [TRUE!]

"Even those who live on another planet, if there are such people, would have condemned this action before it started!" [TRUE!]

Meanwhile America's neocons---aka the Very Serious People---said that there were WMDs, Iraq had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, the smoking gun could come in the form of a mushroom cloud, Iraq was buying uranium from Africa, the war would be quick and glorious and cheap, and the Sunnis would lay down with the Shia like lambs at a petting zoo. [FALSE!]

Twits in ties vs. a buffoon in a beret. Monty Python should sue them all for infringement.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Note: Yesterday's C&J is being recalled.  Please return it to your local authorized C&J dealer for a free comma replacement.  We sincerely regret contributing to your unwillingness to handle this inconvenience with appropriate grace and dignity.  What is wrong with you?  ---Mgt.

National Cherry Festival logo  Traverse City, MI
10 days 'til "Yum!"
By the Numbers:
Days 'til San Francisco and NYC Pride Parades: 3
Days 'til the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan: 10
Americans killed by gunfire in 2011, an increase of 985 from 2010: 32,351
(Source: CDC Injury Control & Prevention  Center)
Percent of Americans who say they have no money saved to handle emergencies: 25%
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent of likely Maine voters who say they are and are not, respectively, more likely to vote for Teapublican Gov.
Paul LePage because he refuses to expand Medicaid: 28%, 31%
(Source: UNH Survey Center poll)
Percent chance that New Hampshire Republicans are so disgusted by the current crop of potential 2016 POTUS clowns (Paul, Christie, Cruz, Bush) that they'd rather bring Mitt Romney out of mothballs: 100%
(Source: Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll)

World Cup Soccuh
Colombia 4 Japan 1  
Greece 2  Ivory Coast 1
Uruguay 1  Italy 0
Costa Rica 0  England 0


Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 4 Kings of the East and 1 gigantic latte-scented rainbow flag).  Soul Protection Factor 30 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  "Pinsch me…"


At least the tea party is
handling their losses well.
CHEERS to Tuesday Night Fights! Under the Lights! In Tights!  If the ouster of Eric Cantor earlier this month was the yin, then last night's election results were the schadenfreude-fueled yang.  This time it was the tea party's turn to get busted in the freedom chops, as Mississippi Senator Thad "I Will Bring Oodles Of Free Federal Money Home For You" Cochran beat back the charge by Chris "I Won't Do Anything For You" (yeah, he really said that) McDaniel, and Oklahoma chose U.S. Congressman James Lankford over tea partier T.W. Shannon to replace outgoing Senator Tom Coburn.  This morning rumors are swirling that McDaniel/Shannon endorser Sarah Palin is livid and plans to go Galt with Ted Cruz and the Club for Growth.  And since that would mean leaving behind their grifting machine and throngs of adoring idiot fans, they've redefined going Galt in the tea party bylaws as stopping by Dairy Queen for an Oreo blizzard.  Vive le sacred honor.

Maine Rep. Mike Michaud graphic with labor endorsements.  Michaud is running for governor.
CHEERS to the guy out in front.  With the exception of the ones showing Romney still ahead of Obama by 110% a year and a half after the election, I don't tend to put much stock in polls.  But it's still good to see that Mainers seem poised to limit the damage from our potty-mouth Teapublican governor to one exhausting term.  Democrat Mike Michaud---who was Grand Marshal in the southern Maine Pride Parade Saturday---holds a four-point lead over Paul LePage.  The spoiler in the race---independent Eliot Cutler---is stuck at 15 percent, which is atrocious considering a) he's a known quantity this time and b) he snagged 36 percent of the vote in 2010.  Cross your piggies, kids.

CHEERS to popping the charter school bubble.  The Detroit Free Press better make some room on its mantel for a Pulitzer, because they've got one (or two) coming for the investigative reporting bombshell they just unveiled on charter schools.  It's a huge series, but their findings are as succinct as they are unsurprising in the state controlled by Republicans who love nothing more than sucking up tax dollars and turning them over to their private-sector cronies:

Detroit Free Press cover graphic for its in-depth review of Michigan's charter schools.  June 22, 2014
• A yearlong Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools found wasteful spending, conflicts of interest, poor performing schools and a failure to close the worst of the worst. Among the findings:
• Charter schools spend $1billion per year in state taxpayer money, often with little transparency.
• Charter schools as a whole fare no better than traditional schools in educating students in poverty.
• Some charter school board members were forced out after demanding financial details from management companies.
• State law does not prevent insider dealing and self-enrichment by those who operate schools.
It's really horrible how they're gutting public education.  As you'd expect---and as confirmed by Chris at Eclectablog---the profiteers are freaking out.  Methinks the grifters doth protest too…something something.  (Sorry, I slept through doth class.)

WHOOPS to pissing off the wrong people. On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry met their Waterloo at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana.  Moments after the shooting stopped, a corporal arrived on the scene with an urgent message from HQ: "Duck!"  Fate is a cruel master.

NASA's Mars rover
CHEERS to the selfie to shame all other selfies.  The science deniers may claim otherwise, but the Martian year is, in fact, longer than ours.  So that's why it seemed to take so long for the robotic horse 'n buggy we put on the surface a while back to celebrate its one-Martian-year anniversary:
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover … stretched out its robotic arm and took a series of pictures of itself, then stitched them together to produce the photo above. Since the rover first landed on Mars in August 2012, it has been a successful 687 Earth days on the planet for Curiosity, according to NASA.

It met its main goal of finding out whether Mars could ever have been habitable to life when it drilled into a rock near its landing site and discovered that it had once been a lake bed, with mild water.

That's just freakin' amazing.  "USA! USA!"  But, uh…what's up with Elvis's reflection in the solar panel?

JEERS to predictable outcomes.  I don’t give a flying fig about Hank Paulsen, the Bushie in charge of the Treasury who slept like a baby as the economy screamed from the highest mountain, "I'M COLLAPSING!!!!!"  Apparently he's woken up from another sound sleep to warn his fellow Republicans---again, way too late---about the next looming crisis on his radar: the destructive effects of climate change.  And let's see what the Republicans are saying in response:

This item has been sponsored by Sominex.


Five years ago in C&J: June 25, 2009

CHEERS to comedy gold.  Look, my heart goes out to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife and kids, but apart from that?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  Tell me one other scandal that has written its own punchlines with such yuk-laden ferocity.  Nude Appalachian Trailing?  "The whole sparkin' thing"?  That rambling seven-minute introduction before getting to the good stuff?  And the emails.  Oh my God!  The emails that not even The Onion could match in their wildest dreams:

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford wipes his eyes as he speaks to the media about his trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina and admits to an extramarital affair at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, June 24, 2009. Governor Sanford said on Wednesday
"I'm so sorry I got caught."
I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ...
Even if you're a maker of comedy, sometimes all you can do is get out of the way, sit back, and enjoy the show.  And it's FREE!!!  [6/25/14 Update: Today Mark Sanford is a sitting United States congressman.  Oh, South Carolina…you merry pranksters.]


And just one more…

President Obama with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
He chose....wisely.
CHEERS to the Wise Latina. Happy birthday (and blessings on your camels) to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who turns 60 today.  She'll mark her fifth year on the bench in August, and I think she's done a fine job so far.  She's not John Roberts, who promised to be an impartial "umpire" but now walks every pro-business batter who shows up at the plate; or Clarence Thomas, the porn-addicted serial tax dodger with the wife who's a walking conflict of interest; or Samuel Alito, the State of the Union mumble-grumbler; or Antonin Scalia, who never met a Koch brother he didn’t fluff and thinks nothing of flipping off those who displease him.  So, in honor of your birthday, Your Honor, we got you the best present we could think of: a summer off from sitting next to those weirdos.

Please exercise judicial restraint while living out your Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Two androids designed to be lifelike have landed “jobs” at a prestigious Japanese technology center. A third droid being put on display at the Miraikan is Bill in Portland Maine, a toddler-sized, remote-controlled humanoid that was first shown off in 2010 as a way to convey emotions through a machine surrogate. Lacking the realism of Kodomoroid and Otonaroid, its pale body has been compared, unfavorably, to an overgrown fetus.


Happy Birthday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor! How would you rate her performance on the bench thus far?

35%1115 votes
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