“Simply put, many Europeans and other international players are put off by the overwhelming number of American PGA Tour players who identify themselves as George Bush-loving Republicans who support the US occupation of Iraq.” Many European golfers believe “they’ll be crucified in American locker rooms and newspapers if they publicly oppose Bush, his fundamentalist Christian agenda or the Iraq war.”
‘Values Voter Summit’ Features Attack on ‘Faggots,’ Claim That Gay Rights Movement Inspired ‘From The Pit Of Hell Itself’
This weekend, some of the nation’s leading conservatives — from Tony Snow and Attorney General Gonzales to Sen. George Allen (R-VA) and Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK) to Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity — appeared at the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit.”
An hour and a half after Snow’s speech, Bishop Wellington Boone, founder of the Wellington Boone Ministries, took the stage and announced, “I want the gays mad at me.” Boone said that while “the gays” are “saying a few things” about him, “they’re not coming at me strong.” In an effort to change that, Boone declared:
Back in the days when I was a kid, and we see guys that don’t stand strong on principle, we call them “faggots.” … [People] that don’t stand up for what’s right, we say, “You’re sissified out!” “You’re a sissy!” That means you don’t stand up for principles. [Click HERE to listen to the audio.]
As Right Wing Watch notes, another speaker at the conference later claimed “the gay rights movement was inspired ‘from the pit of hell itself,’ and has a ‘satanic anointment.’ … He suggested that the anti-Christ is himself gay, citing a verse from the book of Daniel saying the anti-Christ will have no desire for a woman.”
Full transcript: Read more
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in his last address to a gathering of the Labour Party.
President Bush, moments ago:
Once again, there’s a leak out of our government, coming right down the stretch in this campaign, you know, to trade confusion in the minds of the American people, in my judgement, is why they leaked it. So I told the DNI to declassify this document. You can read it for yourself. We’ll stop all of the speculation, all the politics, about someone saying something about Iraq, you know, somebody trying to confuse the American people about the nature of this enemy. And so John Negroponte, the DNI, is going to declassify the document as quickly as possible, declassify the key judgments for you to read yourself and he’ll do so in such a way that he’ll be able to protect sources and methods that our intelligence community uses. And then everybody can draw their own conclusions about what the report says. Thank you.
In her interview with the New York Post, Condoleezza Rice claims that the Clinton Administration did not develop a strategy to fight al Qaeda:
The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton’s claim that he “left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy” for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.
“We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda,” Rice responded during the hourlong session.
Here’s what the 9/11 Commission Report has to say about it:
As the Clinton administration drew to a close, Clarke and his staff developed a policy paper of their own [which] incorporated the CIA’s new ideas from the Blue Sky memo, and posed several near-term policy options. Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to “roll back” al Qaeda over a period of three to five years …[including] covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command-and control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States.” [p. 197]
Clarke, who also worked for the Bush administration, wrote Condoleezza Rice a memo as soon as the Bush administration took office, stating, “[W]e urgently need…a Principals level review of the al Qida network.” His request was denied.
UPDATE: Raw Story has the text of the Clarke memo.
I take the view that “competitiveness” is a bogus concept (ask Paul Krugman) along with an ugly, ugly neologism. But we seem stuck with it. Thus, via Kevin Drum, the World Economic Forum’s “competitiveness” rankings, wherein they gloss the concept as a measure of “how conducive their business climates are to sustaining economic growth.” Sustaining economic growth is a real concept — and we’re number six. But look who’s ahead of us — Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore.
That’s an awful lot of Scandinavian social democracies which, in turn, leads to a point worth making and remaking — one shouldn’t allow the existence of macroeconomic problems in France and Germany to support the conclusion that the European welfare state is simply a failed model. All of those countries differ from each other quite a bit, and the best evidence suggests that the problems in France and Germany relate primarily to aspects of the policy environment there other than the basic transatlantic disagreement about inequality and social welfare.
Today MSNBC decided to forego substantive discussion of terrorism and instead focused on the fact that former President Bill Clinton’s sock had slipped and part of his “white” leg was showing during his interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. The MSNBC host asked her guests, “Is this a travesty or what?” Watch it:
Full transcript below: Read more
Steve Clemons says the “last pre-election loophole through which John Bolton’s confirmation might have snuck through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was at 2:15 this afternoon at a previously called ‘business meeting’ of the Committee. That meeting has been cancelled — and with it even the dimmest chance of John Bolton being confirmed as US Ambassador to the United Nations.”
Since the people who run the congress refuse to engage in oversight, the Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing yesterday on the Iraq War. Naturally, the press more-or-less entirely ignored this event, since people only report on the Democrats to mock them for being in “disarray” (exception: The San Francisco Chronicle did an article), but a variety of interesting things were said. Retired General John Batiste observed:
I believe that Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq. Rumsfeld failed to address the full range of requirements for this effort and the result is one percent of the population shouldering the burdens, continued hemorrhaging of our national treasure in terms of blood and dollars, an Army and Marine Corps which will require tens of billions of dollars to reset after we withdraw from Iraq, the majority of our National Guard brigades no longer combat ready, a Veterans Administration which is under funded by over $3 billion, and America arguably less safe now than it was on 9/11. If we had seriously laid out and considered the full range of requirements for the war in Iraq, we would likely have taken a different course of action which would have maintained a clear focus on our main effort in Afghanistan, not fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe, and not created more enemies than there were insurgents.
This seems correct to me. See also Fred Kaplan on how the Army’s crumbling as a result of the intersection of war.
UPDATE: Yikes, this is wrong. As per SCJ’s comment there was a bunch of MSM coverage this morning. I ran a Google News Search for “Democratic Policy Committee” that revealed little in terms of major outlet coverage (as opposed to progressive media outlets or specialty DC publications) but I obviously chose my search terms badly. Apologies. Interesting hearings nonetheless!
Lionel Robinson in comments complains:
Your equating of southern heritage with racism does a great disservice to southerners like Leroy Collins and Ralph McGill. But as long as you think racism is something that happens only in the south, you don’t have to admit that it’s a national problem not restricted to one region and should be rejected wherever you find it. I heard the N-word more in Milwaukee than I have in the south, and I live now in an area where people put rouge on their necks and buff it every morning.
I plead innocent to all charges. There’s obviously more to southern culture and heritage than racism, as you can see from the simple fact that African-American southerners are distinctly southern, as well as African-American. Nor do I think it’s fair to dismiss claims made by white southerners — especially those of a certain age or simply of limited horizons in life — who say that the Confederate Flag, to them, represents all that other stuff and not just, or even primarily, white supremacy. Symbols mean all sorts of things to all sorts of people. The damning thing about George Allen’s lifelong fascination with the Stars and Bars is that Allen’s not from the South. To northerners, that flag means white supremacy. There’s no conceivable a white person living in California would adopt the symbol in the 1960s other than to affiliate himself with the resistance to the civil rights movement.
Similarly, it’s true of course that there’s racism all over the place and that an undue focus on the South can distract from that. On the other hand, George Allen is actually running for re-election this year. And he’s doing so in Virginia. And the evidence suggests he’s a pretty serious racist. And his affection for the Confederate flag is an important part of that evidence. It would be silly to ignore all that. But, obviously, that racism exists outside the South is at the core of the case — Allen isn’t a Southerner, he just moved there.