Like 75 percent of Americans and most of Congress, I supported the war with Iraq. Much of that support was the result of selected intelligence from the Bush administration. The White House suffered a systemic breakdown, with a vice president and secretary of defense more focused on justifying a war than showing the type of caution our troops deserve before being sent to fight in a foreign land.
George W. Bush was also guilty of gross negligence, in part, by failing to reach out to the two greatest living experts on warfare in the Persian Gulf. Eight years later, it is still hard to believe that the commander in chief refused to seek the advice of his father or his secretary of state, who had run a searingly efficient military campaign a little more than a decade earlier — in the same region, against the same dictator. But as Bush told Bob Woodward, there was no reason to ask Colin Powell’s advice because he knew the general opposed the invasion. Bush 43 also told Woodward that there was no need to seek out Bush 41’s wisdom since he had his “Heavenly Father” to consult.
George W. Bush’s decision to remain isolated and willfully ignorant of these great leaders’ insights led to a disastrous war that could have been avoided. Instead, the invasion of Iraq was launched on March 19, 2003. And despite what media outlets and Democratic politicians would like you to believe, the war began with greater bipartisan support than the 1991 Gulf War.
I guess it’s nice to hear Scarborough acknowledge that he supported this fiasco, but this statement is somewhat misleading. Notice how he mentions that 75% of Americans supported the war. If you didn’t know Scarborough’s past, you might assume he was just one of many Americans who went along with the President. But he was much more than that, as he had his own cable show on MSNBC at the time, Scarborough Country, and he used that platform to become one of the loudest cheerleaders for the war. And, he enthusiastically mocked people who were against it. Joe Scarborough contributed to a climate that made it more difficult for rational voices who opposed the war and questioned the Bush/Cheney/Rove propaganda machine on WMD. He didn’t just go along; he helped lead the parade.
It was obvious to some of us that Bush was cherry-picking the intelligence. If you dug a little, there were journalists who were questioning the intelligence, but most people on network television and in the newsroom of The New York Times were either too stupid o
Speaker of House the John Boehner, R-OH, backed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA (L) and Republican Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, discusses the Republican plan called “Cut, Cap and Balance” to avoid default which would occur if the debt limit ceiling is reached on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
Yesterday we saw a flurry of activity and plenty of consternation as the media and politicians tried to figure out what was going on behind closed doors. TPM has a very helpful account of what happened yesterday, and this passage sticks out:
Democrats favored one proposal: if Congress failed to pass tax reform by date-certain, then the top-bracket Bush tax cuts would expire — a hefty stick that would encourage Republicans to cut a deal. Boehner never agreed to that — and now that the grand bargain has been revived, Democrats are worried that Obama has abandoned that trigger, and perhaps his insistence on a trigger of any kind.
Multiple reports surfaced late Thursday that a trade-off might be in the works: Republicans would agree to the tax trigger if Obama and Dems would agree to nix the health care law’s individual mandate — an unpopular, but crucial component of the reforms Obama signed last year. This is precisely the sort of swap House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has argued for recently.
Referring to negotiations with Democrats, Cantor last week told reporters, “Every time the discussion started about, well, Republicans need to raise taxes, I would proffer back, then you put ObamaCare repeal on the table.”
By multiple accounts, Democrats left Thursday’s White House meeting unhappy.
I like this potential deal for many reasons. First, decoupling the Bush tax cuts so that those for the wealthy would expire is a big deal and would be a huge win for Obama and the Democrats. It would be a serious concession from the GOP, and I have no problem with the idea that this happens in the future if it’s locked in. The statement from Grover Norquist yesterday about the Bush tax cuts is a huge tell that the GOP is seriously considering this.
On the individual mandate, this has been the single most unpopular provision of health care reform. If this could be replaced by some kind of annual open enrollment period with penalties for people who don’t buy insurance so they can’t game the system, then this would be acceptable from a policy point of view. It would also be a significant positive from a political point of view, as it would remove the most controversial issue surrounding health care reform and dilute it as a political issue.
The Democrats were quiet last night, which tells me they aren’t out there trying to kill this potential deal, even if they aren’t thrilled about it. I just saw Claire McCaskill just said on MSNBC that she was open to it. Also, as pointed out in the article, Boehner can’t get behind it until the Cut, Cap and Balance bill gets killed in the Senate, so this won’t move in public until after today’s vote.
I will be stunned if a grand bargain actually happens, but if it does it will be a huge victory for President Obama, John Boehner and the country.
MSNBC just suspended Mark Halprin for saying President Obama was acting like a “dick” today on the air. He was dumb for saying it, but he was trying to make a point about Obama’s tone, and naturally everyone is treating this like it’s a HUGE news story. It’s not. It’s just the kind of “shiny object” that gives the talking heads and bloggers something to talk about for a day.
Of course this is news, but does the Huffington Post really need this blaring headline with the “breaking” flash images on both sides? Good grief . . .
The funny thing is that Halprin is a pretty good commentator who is very honest about his opinions, often taking shots at both sides, so he often comes across as a dick himself. I think the whole episode is kind of funny.
I stopped watching MSNBC in the mornings because Dylan Ratigan is incredibly annoying. He has some good points at times, but he’s only interested in repeating his own opinion . . . over and over again.
Here’s a clip of Ratigan at his worst with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Even Chris Matthews rarely gets this annoying.
If he wanted a real discussion, he could have gotten an answer. Insurance stock went up after the public option was dropped for very obvious reasons – yes, the public option would have resulted in real competition. Fine. End of story. That does not mean, however, that the bill is a “giveway” to the insurance companies as he implied, because as the Congresswoman tried to explain, the bill does include robust regulation of the insurance companies.
Is this perfect? Of course not. Would a public option be better? Of course. But Ratigan just wanted to yell and scream about his simple point that the insurance companies are now better off than if the public option had stayed in the bill.
Of course, a child could probably figure that out as well, but Ratigan thought he was making a big point, so he acted like an ass.
MSNBC is touting their new high-def studios and graphics, but they can’t seem to get the market quotes right. Futures are up big this morning, as reported by CNBC, but MSNBC has red down arrows everywhere showing a down opening.
I’m watching the Sotomayor hearings on MSNBC, and of course they need to break from the actual hearing so Chris Matthews and the other talking heads can pontificate about the hearings. It’s annoying as hell, since we’re missing the continuation of the hearings, but Matthews doesn’t have a lawyer as part of his panel. As a result, Matthews can say idiotic things about her testimony without having a lawyer correct him on the air. What a joke.
I recently got into a somewhat heated argument with a conservative friend of mine about Fox News and whether it was more or less misleading than the other mainstream media outlets. I pointed to the two or three Pew polls that show that Fox News viewers on average were the least likely of all the major news outlets to have a clear understanding of the facts. I argued that MSNBC may on the whole be liberal, but at least they “deal in facts” (i.e. they cite their sources and don’t just make stuff up as they go along, like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity do). The following video is a great example. Bill O’Reilly attempts to debunk Obama’s assertion that Winston Churchill was anti-torture, even when he was under the most dire of circumstances. Notice how O’Reilly makes statements as if they were fact, with no supporting documentation, and how he distracts his audience by going on tangents that have nothing to do with the torture question. Then watch as Olbermann counters Bill O’s argument with facts and actually cites his sources.
It’s amazing to me that anyone still believes that Fox News is “fair and balanced.” What’s even more amazing is that the same conservative friend watched the documentary “Outfoxed” on my suggestion and agreed with much of what it had to say. Three or four years later, now that Obama is in the White House, that objectivity has vanished.
This is pretty pathetic, and it highlights how bad Jim Cramer’s appearance was on The Daily Show.
A TVNewser tipster tells us MSNBC producers were asked not to incorporate the Jim Cramer/Jon Stewart interview into their shows today. In fact, the only time it came up on MSNBC was during the White House briefing, when a member of the press corps asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs if Pres. Obama watched. Gibbs wasn’t sure if the president had, but Gibbs did. “I enjoyed it thoroughly,” the Press Secretary said.
On Cramer’s network, CNBC, the subject has only come up twice today, including when master marketer/CNBC personality Donny Deutsch brought it up briefly around 1pm on “Power Lunch.” “I’m a huge Jon Stewart fan,” said Deutsch, “He does what he does he does his job. But I’m also a huge Jim Cramer fan. He sticks up for the little guy, he cares, he puts his neck out, and I respect that. I respect both those guys.”
How embarrassing. In effect, Stewart destroyed Cramer’s credibility and painted CNBC as a bunch of fools, but MSNBC honchos decided not to respond. This suggests that there might be serious consequences.