On his radio show today, right-wing host Rush Limbaugh criticized the military for allowing women to fight for the United States, asking what “it says about a cultured civilized society that it will round up babes send them off to basic training and send them off to the foxholes.”
“White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect that top officials — including deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and counselor Dan Bartlett — may be forced to provide potentially awkward testimony in the perjury and obstruction trial of Lewis (Scooter) Libby.” Rove and Bartlett have already been subpoenaed by Libby’s attorneys, Newsweek reports, and while it’s not certain they will testify, “the odds increased this week after Libby’s lawyer, Ted Wells, laid out a defense resting on the idea that his client…had been made a ‘scapegoat’ to protect Rove.”
Yesterday on NPR, right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck criticized fellow conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for his strident rhetoric, saying it will be “the death of our industry, and the death of our country.” Today, Beck released a statement taking it all back: “I was disappointed to see how NPR chose to make it look like I was insulting Rush, which is something I would never do.“
Number of amendments offered by conservatives to the minimum wage bill, including multiple amendments to abolish the federal minimum wage. In a dramatic floor speech (go to 4:30), Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) said today that conservative senators appear to be waging a “filibuster by amendment.” The next vote on the bill will be on Tuesday. (Show your support for a minimum wage increase here.)
Today, at his first Pentagon news conference since taking office in December, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that any Iraq resolution opposing President Bush’s escalation plan “certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries.” “It seems pretty straightforward that any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks,” Gates clamed.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Here’s Donald Rumsfeld from 11/20/05: “[W]e also have to understand that our words have effects. … Put yourself in the shoes of the enemy. The enemy hears a big debate in the United States, and they have to wonder, maybe all we have to do is wait, and we’ll win.”
Sixty-eight percent of Americans oppose escalation, while 56 percent want a withdrawal from Iraq within a year. If the Bush administration is truly concerned about the message that a divided America sends to the enemy, then it should consider adopting policies that have overwhelming support.
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I was going to write something about Tyler Cowen’s column on inequality and my disagreements with it, but thinking about that came to serve as a reminder that it would be possible for media outlets to hire economics commentators who are familiar with basic math were they inclined to do so. Larry Kudlow, in other words, doesn’t work at CNBC and National Review because there’s no one else around. Instead, he does economics commentary for them because they don’t really care about informing their audience. For example, there’s this:
Take a look at the high union states vs. the low union states.
The high union states—New York, New Jersey, Washington, etc—also happen to be high tax, slow growth, population losing, states.
Now here’s the thing. New York isn’t losing population. Nor is New Jersey losing population. Nor, for that matter, is Washington losing population. My guess is that Kudlow is confused. He’s remembering that these states are losing congressional seats and doesn’t understand how this works. The number of congressional districts is capped, so that a state that grows more slowly than average puts itself at risk of losing seats. But who knows. Maybe he wasn’t thinking of anything. Maybe he was just making stuff up.
UPDATE: Also note that Kudlow is leaving 40 percent of the high-union states — Hawaii and Alaska — off his list, perhaps because they don’t fit his theory.
Last September, over 100,000 ThinkProgress readers demanded ABC tell the truth about 9/11. You helped expose the factual inaccuracies and partisan misrepresentations in ABC’s controversial docudrama “The Path to 9/11.”
Here we go again. This Sunday, Fox News’ Sean Hannity is planning to broadcast the fictitious scenes that ABC found unfit to air.
The original docudrama contained a false, dramatic scene where former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger refuses to give the order to the CIA to take out bin Laden. According to the bipartisan 9/11 Commission report, this scene never occurred, and several members of the 9/11 Commission criticized the scene. The conservative writer of the film was forced to acknowledge that the scene was “improvised.”
It’s one thing for Fox News to provide their usual biased political commentary. It’s another thing to promote discredited fiction as news. Sean Hannity’s executive producer told the Los Angeles Times today that Hannity and Fox News “feel the American people deserve both sides.” The only two sides in this case are fiction and fact. It’s our obligation to stand up for the facts.
With little press attention, President Bush is actively implementing his escalation policy, even as a bipartisan majority of Congress is expected to back a resolution opposing the plan.
On January 10, hours before Bush officially announced his new policy, ABC News reported that escalation had already begun. “Ninety advance troops from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad Wednesday,” and an “additional battalion of roughly 800 troops from the same division are expected to arrive in Baghdad Thursday.”
Washington Post defense analyst William Arkin has noted “the curious silence of most of the mainstream media” about those first deployments. But the problem has subsequently worsened, as local news reports of U.S. troop deployments to Iraq have gone virtually unnoticed by the national media. A sample of overlooked reports:
AP Wire, 1/11/07:
A Marine battalion now in Iraq had expected to return soon to North Carolina, but the 900 infantry troops will stay longer as a result of President Bush’s plan to increase troops in Iraq. The 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment is one of three Lejeune-based battalion already in Iraq. Its duty will be extended 60 to 90 days, the Marine Corps said Thursday.
WIBW Channel 13, 1/25/07:
It was a bittersweet scene at Fort Riley Thursday as families said good by to loved ones heading to Iraq. The 3,400 troops are proud to be serving and are ready for their mission in Iraq. … This is all part of President Bush’s plan to increase troops in the Middle East.
William Arkin, 1/25/07:
The Defense Department has divulged that troops of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment are being extended in Anbar province for 60 to 90 days as part of the surge. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, an additional augmented battalion with air support, is also being extended in Anbar for 45 days.
who engaged in a public feud with the Dixie Chicks and once sang a two-fisted song about putting “a boot in [the] ass” of the terrorists, tells Newsday that he doesn’t support the Iraq war. “‘Never did,’ he says — and he favors setting a time limit on the occupation. He says he suspects civil war in Iraq is inevitable and predicts the Kurds will be the victors: ‘I promise you, they’ll end up with it all.’”