From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
I used to like March 19th.
Not so much anymore. It's the day Republicans shot our country in the foot and expected a parade of sweets and flowers for it.
Today is the ninth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, aka the "More Than Twice As Long As World War II" war. As its architects and cheerleaders try to rehabilitate their images by crapping out error-riddled books sprinkled with revisionist fairy dust, let's remember what they and their media enablers really said before and after it all went down. Please hold your rotten tomatoes until the very end...
"Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof---the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
---George W. Bush (10/7/02)
My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."
---Colin Powell, United Nations Speech (2/5/03)
"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
---Dick Cheney (3/16/03)
"[T]he area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
---Donald Rumsfeld (3/30/03)
Who said war never solved anything?
---Brendan Miniter, Assistant Editor, Wall St. Journal (4/8/03)
"Each morning, we sat reading our copy of The New York Times, The Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times and ruminated on their prophecies of doom and quagmire. Then we looked up to see, on television, correspondents actually embedded with our troops reporting quick advances, one-sided firefights, melting opposition and, finally, welcoming crowds."
---Dick Morris (4/15/03)
"The only people who think this wasn't a victory are Upper Westside liberals."
---Charles Krauthammer (4/19/03)
TED KOPPEL: [Y]ou’re not suggesting that the rebuilding of Iraq is going to be done for $1.7 billion?
ANDREW NATSIOS [Agency for International Development]: Well, in terms of the American taxpayer's contribution, I do. This is it for the US.
[Liberals] can't deny that President Bush has won his two wars, and won them resoundingly.
---Paul Mirengoff, Powerline (4/26/03)
Is it really worth rubbing their dumbstick-beaten faces in their own muck every year on this occasion? I take the late Molly Ivins' view
from April 29, 2003, barely a month after Shock 'n Awe:
The United States, which insisted it could not give United Nations weapons inspectors so much as 10 days more to search, so dangerous were these WMDs, now says it needs months to find them. In the meantime, we are clearly being set up to put the whole issue of WMDs down the memory hole.
Maybe the American people can be brainwashed into forgetting why we supposedly went to war. Near as I can tell, our national memory span is down to about two weeks, and the media have been spectacularly unskeptical on this issue. But the rest of the world is not going to forget that WMDs were our primary reason for an unprovoked, pre-emptive war.
And how did the steely-eyed Republican Commander-in-Chief and his chickenhawk cheerleaders pay for all the unnecessary carnage and chaos? Why, I think I'll let the deficit-obsessed tea party answer that. I expect the silence will be deafening.
More Cheers and Jeers below the fold...
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, March 19, 2012
Note: Thanks to everyone who submitted suggestions for our "Name that Duck" contest. We're sorting through the five-page list of submissions, and tomorrow we'll give you the chance to vote on the top 5. Stop by, vote, and feel the duckmentum!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Supreme Court hears 6 hours of arguments over the constitutionality of the looming federal healthcare mandate that Mitt Romney was for before he was against: 7
Days 'til the Maine Festival of the Book in Portland: 10
Reduction in net U.S. imports of crude oil last year: 10%
What that equals in terms of barrels per day: 1,000,000
(Source: The White House)
Number of rides Americans took on public transportation last year: 10.4 billion
Increase in rides from the year before: 200 million
(Source: American Public Transportation Association)
High temperature in Fryeburg, Maine yesterday: 81 degrees
NEW! Revvin' Up for Rhode Island!
Brought to you by the 2012 Netroots Nation Convention (<<< snazzy new web site!) in Providence, June 7-10. For shear acreage it's impossible to beat Mall of America in Minneapolis, site of last year's convention. But in terms of history, The soon-to-re-open "Arcade" in Providence stands alone:
We are thrilled to share the news! Evan Granoff and his team at 130 Westminster Street Associates, LLC announced an exciting adaptive reuse project in one of the city’s most beloved historic buildings. The Arcade---recognized as a National Historic Landmark and known as the oldest indoor shopping mall in the country---will soon house 14 shops and restaurants on its ground floor, along with 48 micro-lofts on the second and third floors.
More photos and background at IHeartRhody
. I'm proposing that our Netroots Nation community project in Providence be the building of a roller coaster inside it. So don't forget to pack a few steel girders when you come. Together we can make a difference.
Puppy Pic of the Day: If you feel so inclined, sign Senator Schumer's petition.
CHEERS and JEERS to a day in the park. The Occupy movement celebrated its sixth anniversary---six months, that is---in Zuccotti Park yesterday with a peaceful display of drumming, chalk art, costumes, and gentle calls for a narrowing of the income-equality gap. The NYPD also marked the six-month anniversary by showing up to put on a display of their freedom fists and offered free buggy rides to the local jail for some quality squalor time in handcuffs. To those who thought the movement fizzled with the winter weather (such as it was): sorry to disappoint you. Occupy on.
CHEERS to---and it kills me to say this---John McCain. The biggest bump on a log in the U.S. Senate actually said something intelligent yesterday:
The party’s 2008 standard-bearer, now a Mitt Romney surrogate, was asked by David Gregory on NBC’s Meet The Press whether he thinks that “there is something of a war on women among Republicans.”
“I think we have to fix that,” McCain said. “I think that there is a perception out there, because of the way that this whole contraception issue played out. We need to get off of that issue, in my view. I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives, and make that clear, and get back on to what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.”
Mitt Romney, you just got Mavericked
---specifically, you just got Mavericked by Mitt Romney surrogate John McCain. That's gottta hurt.
JEERS to things not quite going according to the freedom plan. I just had an epiphany about the ten-year war in Afghanistan, and I believe that I'm the very first person to have it: the ten-year war in Afghanistan might be turning into a bit of a mess. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I've noticed some subtle clues:
- The massacre by a deranged soldier was bad.
- The Koran-burning episode was apparently worse.
- Drones are still killing civilians too, also.
- The evil Taliban broke off talks with us.
- The corrupt government wants our troops out of their villages on account of we seem to be killing innocent people and breaking stuff too often.
- 60% of Americans say the war hasn't been worth it, according to an ABC News/WaPost poll
- 54% of us want us out of Afghanistan immediately.
President Obama said last week we have no plans to speed up our withdrawal. Translation: we have no plans to speed up our withdrawal until Gladys is done getting the new plans laminated at Kinko's.
CHEERS to Bill in Portland Maine: Senior Political Psychoanalyst. Why is Newt Gingrich staying in the race when it's clear the closest he'll ever come to occupying the White House is standing in line to take the public tour? Because he's a grouchy old man on Social Security who has nothing better to do than stand behind lecterns delivering grouchy diatribes about child labor, moon colonies and tyranny, while savoring the smatttering of applause and media coverage he still gets as if he was draining the last few drops of water from his canteen while stranded in Death Valley as buzzards circle overhead waiting to peck him open and dine on the gristle-flecked pink Newt slime. You can trust me on this because I have a political psychoanalyst diploma on my wall made of glued-on macaroni shells. (CNN: call me---I could be a great guest hologram. Really!)
CHEERS to weird stenography. "So an incumbent president facing a tough reelection fight walks into a bar..." That's the opening line of the Yahoo! News pool reporter's official account of President Obama's Saturday jaunt to mingle with the commoners for a snort 'o the Guinness. But check out the odd ending to his report (emphasis mine):
President Obama made a brief St Patrick's Day pilgrimage to a Washington DC Irish bar, The Dubliner, on Saturday, where he quaffed a pint of Guinness and enjoyed cheers from a rowdy crowd of green-clad partiers, some of whom had staked out their spots as early as 10 a.m. […]
The president smiled and waved to the patrons in the packed Irish Times sidewalk area, then to another hundred or so gawkers on the sidewalk at North Capitol and F Street, boarded his ride, and by 1:45 we were back at the White House. … Your pooler hopes you will notice that not once did he mention "Erin Go Bragh."
Oh, *&^%$# it!
Wild guess: Erin couldn’t wait to go relieve his braghdder. At future events a sign will be posted by the advance team: "We don’t swim in your toilet---please don’t pee on our pooler."
CHEERS to keeping your liquid assets inside the banks. With spring just a day away (1:14 tomorrow morning), fears of post-thaw flooding are no doubt fresh on a lot of people's minds. For what it's worth, the experts say 2012 looks like a kinder, gentler season:
"What a difference a year makes," says Laura Furgione, a deputy director for the National Weather Service. There are no areas at "high risk" for flooding this spring, she says, which is very different from last March. High risk is the weather service's most extreme risk level for flooding. … Flood-weary residents near the Red River of the North in Minnesota and North Dakota should "enjoy a spring without sandbagging, for the first time since 2008," Furgione adds. One reason for the lack of flooding is because of a winter that saw the nation's third-least amount of snow in 46 years of records.
[Areas] with an above-normal risk of flooding this spring[:] along the Ohio River in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, [and] the lower Mississippi River Valley, along tributaries of the river in Louisiana and Mississippi.
While that's great news, there will of course still be plenty of other dependable threats, like tornadoes, thunderstorms, freak blizzards and outbreaks of gay marriages. Check those radio batteries, homesteaders!
JEERS to pearl-clutching pearl clutchers. Here's a lovely example of "Heads I win, Tails you lose." President Obama won’t be able to attend the beltway media slobberfest known as the "Gridiron Dinner" Saturday, and the
"prominent Washington journalists" beltway media slobberpusses are choking on their chardonnay and cocktail weenies over it. The GALL of him to fly off to Seoul, South Korea instead to try and reduce the threat of nuclear weapons!!! Has he no sense of PRIORITIES?!! Conversely, when he does attend, of course, he gets the blinking red sissy light at the top of the Drudge Report because he's "laughing while real Americans are hurting!!!" Oh, well---at least there's a bright side to this year's dustup: I now have no reason whatsoever to devote one more second thinking about the Gridiron Dinner. Win.
Five years ago in C&J: March 19, 2007
JEERS to life on Pluto. A bill working its way through the Maine legislature would add domestic partners to the Family Medical Leave Act. And right on cue, our state's most annoying fundy Asshat---Michael Heath of the Christian Civic League---pops a few 'shrooms and takes quill to paper in an op-ed:
[Defeating the bill] would simply uphold marriage as the chief building block of civilization. Leaders taking this stand would proactively work to make marriage the only warm hearth for sex. They would do this by teaching in a million ways that sex outside of marriage is immoral, it is wrong. Hearts would swell while children frolicked in their restored innocence.
Meanwhile Brett held Marcia in his arms, tightly. He could feel the heaving of her ample bosom as he gently laid her on the dewy grass. Stroking her hair, he started babbling on about Leviticus and ruined the moment. His restraining order arrived a few days later. The End. [3/19/12 Update: This year the Christian Civic League is taking over from the Catholic Diocese to lead the anti-happiness, anti-wedding industry side during the run-up to November's gay marriage vote. Most Mainers view them as a fringe, loopdedoo outfit with views way outside the mainstream. That's good for a few points on my Optimism Meter.]
And just one more…
CHEERS to a gentle giant. His real name may be Calvert Deforest, but I'll always remember him as Larry 'Bud' Melman. Said David Letterman of his Truman Capote-esque sidekick, who died on this date in 2007 at 85: "Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself---a genuine, modest and nice man." If you've ever wondered what it takes to get me to fall on the floor laughing, clear five minutes from your life and just watch this. If there's anything I'm looking forward to when I kick the bucket, it's getting my own hot towel from him at the pearly gates when i step off the bus.
Have a nice Monday. Let us meet again---[Poink!]---in the spring! Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
“Let met tell you what really happened. I got Bill in Portland Maine, I handcuffed him, threw him in the back of the car, we were going down I-95 at 100 miles an hour, I swerved to avoid Bigfoot and I ran into Elvis Presley. I have two witnesses: the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.”
---Maine Governor Paul LePage