Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) brings readers backstage at the Daily Show, which he appeared on tonight.
Tonight, Bill O’Reilly attacked the “radical movement” that opposed the Nevada Democratic Party’s debate with Fox News. O’Reilly said that MoveOn, “the Daily Kos or whatever that stupid thing is,” and others “use propaganda techniques perfected by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of information. They lie, distort, defame, all the time.” Progressive activists attack Fox News because “we report on them accurately,” O’Reilly said.
Former White House aide Lanny Davis, a close ally of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), joined in the fray. “I’m inclined to give everybody the benefit of the doubt here except the people that are calling for cancellation of the debate because they don’t like Fox,” Davis said. “I disagree with this pressure from Daily Kos and MoveOn.org to cancel the debate, and I think anybody that took that pressure, including John Edwards ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
Transcript: Read more
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace said today that homosexuality is “immoral” and that he supports Don’t Ask Don’t Tell because “we should not condone immoral acts.” In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Pace also compared homosexuality to adultery, claiming that the military should “not tolerate” homosexuality just as it rejects “military members who sleep with other military members’ wives.”
Pace’s bigoted remarks expose the flawed foundation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and show Pace to be in the minority. A Dec. 2006 Zogby poll of U.S. soldiers found that nearly three in four troops (73 percent) say “they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians,” and a Harris poll last month showed that 55 percent of Americans “think gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military.” At least 24 nations including Israel, Britain and other U.S. allies “let gays serve openly, with none reporting morale or recruitment problems.”
Earlier this year, Pace’s predecessor Gen. John Shalikashvilii announced his support for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: “I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces.”
UPDATE: AmericaBlog has more.
Transcript: Read more
Legislators in North Dakota are set to take up legislation that would ban all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. The bill passed the House 61-26 in January, and will be debated in the Senate this week. Feministing has details.
A new study finds that almost one-third (31 percent) “of U.S. soldiers seeking government health care after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with a mental problem.” The study also notes that “25 percent of U.S. veterans returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan sought government-sponsored care, compared to 10 percent of Vietnam war veterans.”
UPDATE: Details on the study are HERE.
Eric Neel says he respects the Mavericks but just can’t fall in love with them as a great team. He blames Mark Cuban. Closer to the mark, I think, I saw Skip Bayless on ESPN this afternoon talking about “so-called superstar Dirk Nowitzki.” The correct term for that sentiment is “crazy.” Dirk is averaging over 25 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and over 90 percent from the line (42 percent from beyond the arc, thank you very much). Have I mentioned that he’s seven feet tall and snags 9.5 rebounds per game? Three and a half assists isn’t terrible, either. Oh, and Dallas plays with the league’s third-slowest pace, depressing all of his numbers.
There is, in short, an irrational reluctance to embrace Nowitzki as a superstar. People seem almost resigned to him winning the MVP rather than celebrating his greatness. This, even though it’s actually quite rare for the proverbial “best player on the best team” to also make an extremely strong case that he’s having the best individual statistical season in the league. Is it because he’s German? Because it seems unfair for a seven footer to have such a sweet shot? Who knows? Frankly, I feel it too.
As Atrios first noted, a new CNN poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly believe that President Bush should not pardon Scooter Libby, who was convicted last week on felony charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Should President Bush Pardon Libby?
Yes: 18 percent
No: 69 percent
Don’t Know: 13 percent
Was Vice President Cheney Part Of A Cover-Up?
Yes: 52 percent
No: 29 percent
Don’t Know: 19 percent
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called the poll results more evidence of “a cloud hanging over Vice President Cheney and President Bush.”
UPDATE: Atrios also noted that NBC’s Andrea Mitchell said tonight on MSNBC:
They’re going to try to really tamp this down and appeal to the polling which indicates that most people think, in fact, that he should be pardoned. Scooter Libby should be pardoned.
Crooks and Liars has the video.
Much of the editorial is spent arguing why Congress should voluntarily neuter itself. It says that Congress “must not limit the president’s ability to maneuver at this critical juncture,” and that “lawmakers have a duty to let the president try” his escalation strategy. The Times chides “congressional meddling in military strategy,” and states (without evidence) that Pelosi is “interfering with the discretion of the commander in chief” in order to “fulfill domestic political needs.”
The editorial then echoes the false Lieberman/McConnell line suggesting that Congress’ role in influencing the war is limited mostly to cutting funds. Iraq war critics “should have the courage of their convictions and vote to stop funding U.S. involvement,” the Times says.
But as ThinkProgress has detailed, over the last 35 years, Congress has enacted numerous diverse bills that capped the size of military deployments, prohibited funding for existing or prospective deployment, and placed limits and conditions on the timing and nature of deployments. These actions were enacted by majority Republican and Democratic Congresses and imposed on presidents of both parties. Here are three examples:
December 1974. P.L. 93-559 — Foreign Assistance Act of 1974. The Congress established a personnel ceiling of 4000 Americans in Vietnam within six months of enactment and 3000 Americans within one year.
June 1983. P.L. 98-43 — The Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act of 1983. The Congress required the president to return to seek statutory authorization if he sought to expand the size of the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.
November 1993. P.L. 103-139. The Congress limited the use of funding in Somalia for operations of U.S. military personnel only until March 31, 1994, permitting expenditure of funds for the mission thereafter only if the president sought and Congress provided specific authorization.
Passing bills like these today won’t turn Speaker Pelosi into a military general. But if Congress listens to the L.A. Times and abandons its constitutional responsibilities, they will be ordaining Emperor Bush.
Today in a speech delivered at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Vice President Cheney assailed Iraq war critics for pursuing “an anti-war strategy that’s been called slow bleed.” Cheney added, “They’re not supporting the troops, they are undermining them.” Watch it:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked Cheney’s remarks, saying, “It is a disservice to our military personnel for President Bush and Vice President Cheney to continue to advocate for an open-ended commitment in Iraq, while brushing aside the advice of military leaders and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, all of whom argue that the war in Iraq cannot be resolved militarily but only through diplomatic, economic and political means.”
The true “slow bleed” strategy is leaving U.S. troops mired in the middle of an Iraqi civil war. There was a time when Cheney recognized that. On April 7, 1991, appearing on ABC’s This Week, Cheney said:
Well, just as it’s important, I think, for a president to know when to commit U.S. forces to combat, it’s also important to know when not to commit U.S. forces to combat. I think for us to get American military personnel involved in a civil war inside Iraq would literally be a quagmire. Once we got to Baghdad, what would we do? Who would we put in power? What kind of government would we have? Would it be a Sunni government, a Shi’a government, a Kurdish government? Would it be secular, along the lines of the Ba’ath Party? Would be fundamentalist Islamic? I do not think the United States wants to have U.S. military forces accept casualties and accept the responsibility of trying to govern Iraq. I think it makes no sense at all.
Is there anyone in the global warming debate less well-informed on the subject than Gregg Easterbrook? He has a mistake-filled article in the latest issue of the Atlantic (subs. req’d) and a mistake-filled interview on line.
Consider this whopper from the interview:
In the current federal budget there’s almost five billion dollars for energy conservation research–I wish there was zero in the current federal budget. Progress would be faster.
Wrong by a factor of more than 10. I ran the energy conservation office. The entire research budget is well under $500 million — and much of that is hydrogen research that is probably pointless and in any case not real conservation. Easterbrook is completely unaware of the $30 billion in savings the energy conservation program has been documented to provide Americans by the National Academy of Sciences.
Or consider this whopper from the second sentence in the article: