The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 18th, 2015: This Week In Faux News

I was going to write about Rand Paul’s “Libertarian” followers, but thankfully Wayne steered me to PoliticusUSA’s “Friday Fox Follies”, which is a bit more entertaining. Well, that’s if by “entertaining” one means ‘laughing because screaming is the only other alternative.’

Rand Paul acolytes are NOT “entertaining”, by any definition in any dictionary on this or any other planet.

On the other hand, Friday Fox Follies, put together by Headly Westerfield, is a stupefying roundup of the past week’s non-stories, conspiracy theories, idiotic commentary and other nonsense, all hacked up from the fine folks at Fox “News.” This week, the Follies ‘2016 Presidential hopefuls’ edition’ provides links to anything and everything, from Media Matters’ Fox coverage, to Hillary Clinton and “Chipotleghazi” [term courtesy of Evan McMurray of Mediaite], to Jon Stewart ranting at the media**, to Bernie Sanders schooling Bill O’Reilly, to Donald Trump-or-Monkey [thank you, David Letterman, for linking those two forever in my mind.] There are so many links, you’re sure to find more than one story to pique the interest.

**Jon Stewart Watch: I’ve noticed for the last week or so, Jon has been using the first segment of his show to ream, eviscerate, and generally rant about various topics, including his amazing tirade about Dick Cheney. I think that Jon is taking advantage of the time his show has left to really get everything off his chest, in his own inimitable style. The “real news media” should sit up and pay attention, because Jon seems to be pointing in their direction.

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 12th, 2012: Funny, or Frightening?

Last night on Rachel Maddow, Rachel did a segment about the Washington Post article on today’s Dick Cheney-hosted fundraiser for Mitt Romney. Rachel’s point, demonstrated by various quotes, was (more or less) that the article was just pap being spoon-fed to WaPo by the Romney campaign. After reading the entire article, I understood why. Some of the quotes from the article and from various spokesmen are laugh-out-loud ridiculous:

“By hosting the fundraiser, the former vice president — who in his retirement remains a powerful leader of foreign policy neoconservatives yet a deeply polarizing figure outside of the Republican base — will make his grandest gesture to pass a torch to Romney.”

“Deeply polarizing”?! Ya think? Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating; by all logic, even though Cheney has longtime connections in the upper eschelons of politics, corporate power, oil, oil, and more oil, Romney should avoid Cheney like the plague…yeah, right. And what’s this “grandest gesture” crap – Cheney never even made a “grand” gesture, how could his “pass[ing] a [completely non-existent yet still untouched by Cheney’s hands] torch” be Cheney’s “grandest” gesture?

“…former congressman Vin Weber (Minn.), a veteran of the Bush-Cheney campaigns and a senior policy adviser to Romney, said, “At the broader advisory level, everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney.” He added. “They want him to win. And it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence, because they have the most recent Republican expertise in running the government.”

Yeah, “the most recent Republican expertise in running the government” INTO THE GROUND! Yeesh, they think that this is a plus for Romney? Actually, that quote is both funny and scary: “…everybody who was around Cheney and Bush are around Romney, and it’s inevitable that they’d have some influence”?? Oh dear. If Romney wins the election (bite my tongue), would we be in for another Cheney puppet show?

“Where Cheney’s beliefs and policies are rooted in conservative ideology, Romney’s tend to be driven by analytical problem-solving.”

Now, that’s a knee-slapper: Cheney’s “beliefs and policies are rooted” in greed and lust for power. Second, anyone who believes that Mitt Romney is an “analytical problem-solv[er] must have never heard Romney attempt to speak about policy…any policy.

Last, but IMHO the funniest:

“One George W. Bush administration official who has worked closely with Cheney and Romney said they are “very different.”

“They’re both very probing personalities in the context of policy discussions. They don’t let up. They really drill down. They’re both very smart and curious intellectually. [emphasis mine]” [T]he official…spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank.”

*******************************************
On the other hand, I found a few bits of information to be interesting and oddly disturbing. Maybe it’s just me…you may have different reactions.

First, this one snippet was rather startling, and made me stop and think back:

“…Richard B. Cheney, the living thread connecting the past five GOP presidencies.”

Jeebus, Dick Cheney has been manipulating our country for his own interests since 1969? Here’s a brief summary from Wikipedia on just his early White House career:

“Cheney’s political career began in 1969, as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger during the Richard Nixon Administration. He then joined the staff of Donald Rumsfeld, who was then Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity from 1969–70.[14] He held several positions in the years that followed: White House Staff Assistant in 1971, Assistant Director of the Cost of Living Council from 1971–73, and Deputy Assistant to the president from 1974–1975. As deputy assistant, Cheney suggested several options in a memo to Rumsfeld, including use of the US Justice Department, that the Ford administration could use to limit damage from an article, published by The New York Times, in which investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported that Navy submarines had tapped into Soviet undersea communications as part of a highly classified program, Operation Ivy Bells.[20][21]

Cheney was Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford. When Rumsfeld was named Secretary of Defense, Cheney became White House Chief of Staff, succeeding Rumsfeld.[14] He later was campaign manager for Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign.[22]”

Keeping in mind this factoid that Dick Cheney has been involved in five GOP administrations from Nixon on, add in the following tidbit:

“…the hosts also include…Cheney’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, a former State Department official.”

Am I being cynical, or could it be that Dick might be: A) making sure that he is connected to a sixth GOP administration; and/or B) grooming Liz to follow in daddy’s footsteps? Of course, that “former State Department official” job (wink, wink) under Bush/Cheney has already gotten Liz started with her own GOP presidential ‘firsties.’ (shudder) Now there’s a truly scary thought.

This is our daily open thread — c’mon, don’t be shy, say what you think!

The Watering Hole: 4-4-12: Cheney Announces Presidential Bid

What, me worry?

Fresh out of the recovery room following his heart implant transplant, former Vice President Dick Cheney announced his candidacy for the Republican 2012 nomination for President.

“This current crop of candidates is pathetic.” Cheney announced at his press conference. Not one of them are qualified to pick up where I, where President Bush and I left off.”

When asked about Romney’s delegate lead going into the Convention, Cheney brushed it off. “Look, Romney’s the kid nobody wanted, but they’ve been stuck with him because everyone else sucked. His delegates are gonna leave like rats abandoning a sinking ship, now that they can choose a real man…one who’s been there, done that, one who knows what it’s like to bomb a country back to the Stone Age in a war sold to the American people like it was some sort of action-hero movie plot.”

Cheney then launched into an attack on President Obama for cutting and running in Iraq and for daring to even talk about shutting down Guantanamo. “Thank God the Republicans in Congress prevented Obama from closing that prison. Guantanamo is the best weapon we have for instilling fear in political opponents…I mean, those Islamic Terrorists who want to destroy the American Way of Life.”

When asked who he might pick for a Vice Presidential candidate, Cheney was quick to reply, “I ain’t gonna pick no damn Palin, that’s for sure. Actually, I’m favoring Jeb Bush. After all, last time we had a Bush and a Dick. It’s only right that this time it’s a Dick and a Bush.”

OPEN THREAD.
HAVE AT IT!

What Questions Would YOU Like To Ask Dick Cheney..?

The ‘Dick’ Cheney is on his book tour, making the rounds of all the news channels, hawking his perverted, revisionist version of history. I have no intention of buying his book, but I can’t help wondering.. If YOU were a journalist or reporter with access, what questions would YOU like to ask him (regardless of whether he would answer it honestly or not beings he doesn’t have an honest bone in his decrepid body..)?

Think hard. So much material to cover, so little bandwidth.. The Huffington Post asked this question before me, but I wanted to ask it here anyway.

Good Riddance to Decade That Began With Theft of the Presidency

I am a big fan of John Nichols. This is an important post. I think it’s important to remember how this nightmare of a decade started..

Good Riddance to Decade That Began With Theft of the Presidency by John Nichols

The British press has taken to referring to the passing decade as “the Noughties” has made quite a big deal of trying to identify the political, economic and cultural trends of period from 2000 to 2009.

It is an amusing pastime that has some value, but only if we’re focused on identifying the root cause of what made the Noughties such a miserable decade.

If we are serious about the task, there is not much mystery.

The original sin of the good-riddance decade came in December of 2000, when the United States Supreme Court intervened to stop a complete recount of the votes in Florida and then declared George Bush to be the president.

This extreme judicial activism was not merely a devastating assault on American democracy. It set in motion the Bush presidency, and with it the pathologies that the Bush-Cheney administration imposed on the country in the form of unnecessary wars, failed economic policies, assaults on civil liberties and crudely divisive and hyper-partisan governance.

Bush, Dick Cheney and aides are surely to blame for much of what ailed America during the 2000s, and for what will ail America for decades to come.

But it was the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented meddling in the presidential election process – an intervention that would have horrified the founders of a republic that was supposed to enjoy a separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers – made the Bush-Cheney interregnum possible.

Continue reading…

Rep. Massa: Cheney “has political Tourette’s”

Raw Story:

Rep. Eric Massa tells MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that he is tired of the hypocrisy of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Jim DeMint on national security.

Rep. Massa says at one point that Cheney suffers from “diarrhea of the mouth”. Personally, I am embarrassed for Cheney every time he comes out and pretends he has ANY credibility on any subject, yet it doesn’t stop him from trying to hammer away at President Obama, accusing him of things that he and Bush were guilty of. You know.. Incompetence, cowardice, etc.. Schultz and Massa were correct. It’s time for the Dems to start hitting back at these crazy claims and throw the truth right back at them – especially at Dick Cheney. Hitting back hard. This man has done enough damage, and hopefully it won’t be much longer before it comes back to bite him in the butt. Hard.

Rep. Massa:

“I am sick and tired of the former vice president of the United States taking shots not only at this administration, for problems he was largely and personally responsible for, but by an extension at those of us who served in the military and bring that experience,” Massa said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show.

“This man suffers from a horrible case of political Tourette’s [syndrome], and it’s about time that we stand up and kick right back because I’m sick and tired of him kicking us in our shins,” Massa said…

….”We need to grow a spine and stand up and show America exactly who did what,” Massa said, pointing to Cheney’s role in the events leading to the Christmas day attempt and the fact that the Bush administration took several days longer than Obama to address the 2001 shoe-bomber incident.

“It was Dick Cheney personally responsible for the release of the masterminds of the Christmas airline terror plot,” he said, accusing the former vice president of shifting his culpability to Democrats.

“It makes no difference what we do, this man suffers from political diarrhea of the mouth, and unless we stand up and call it as it is he’s going to keep on getting away with it,” Massa said…

…The New York Democrat also lashed out at Sen. Jim DeMint as “personally responsible for placing you, the traveling American public at risk” by “placing a hold on the nominee of the director of the Transportation Security Agency.”

People like Jim DeMint and people like Dick Cheney need to go away so we can solve the problems they’ve created,” Massa said.

I wholeheartedly agree.

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Don’t miss this article by Eugene Robinson in the Washington
post
today:

Dick Cheney’s lies about President Obama

Bruce Fein wants an expanded CIA probe

On yesterday’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews interviewed Bruce Fein, an Associate Deputy Attorney General to President Ronald Reagan, and Fein argued that the Justice Department should expand a probe into the CIA’s interrogation techniques — including the possibility of targeting former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In response to a clip of Dick Cheney saying (in his interview with Chris Wallace of Fox Noise) that even if they violated the rules (laws), don’t investigate, and don’t even think of indicting..:

“What I find most dangerous about Mr. Cheney’s statement is that he really suggests that the rule of law means nothing as long as you’re trying to go after terrorists. We have a way to do these things. Go to Congress and you have them amend the law—a ticking time-bomb exception or something like that. The executive branch doesn’t unilaterally declare the law no longer serves any purpose because we’re going after terrorists. That’s what despotic governments do. We are the United States of America. Rule of Law is our ultimate safety and guarding of our liberties.”

“I think there should be an investigation, and perhaps a pardon would be appropriate under the circumstance, but certainly a full-fledged investigation. If there are no mitigating circumstances a prosecution is appropriate. If there are, then that’s the pardon, and that’s the situation where the president would have to take full accountability like President Ford did with Mr. Nixon.”

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I agree. Let the investigation go where it must. This country needs to see accountability so we as a nation can regain our confidence that we really ARE a country based on the Rule of Law, that there really are lines that cannot be crossed, that those laws really work—for ALL of us (including our elected leaders and lawmakers).

Rachel Maddow: “Planet Cheney”

Rachel Maddow discusses Dick Cheney, and his recent attempts at defending the torture of terror suspects during the Bush administration, with Chris Hayes of The Nation.

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Read Chris Hayes’ article “The Secret Government“.
Also read Jeremy Scahill’s “Rebuking Cheney’s Torture Propaganda in 7 Easy Steps“.

Cheney ordered CIA program kept secret (Updated)

According to the New York Times, former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the CIA to keep a counter-terrorism program secret from Congress — for eight years.  CIA Director Leon Panetta informed the House and Senate Intelligence committees about the program after he learned of it on June 23,

Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney

and shut down the program immediately.  The purpose and activities of the program remain secret.

The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

In addition, for covert action programs, a particularly secret category in which the role of the United States is hidden, the law says that briefings can be limited to the so-called Gang of Eight, consisting of the Republican and Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress and of their intelligence committees.

Cheney’s involvement in the secret counter-terrorism program came to light through the inspector general’s report, which featured the former vice president’s primary role in keeping secret the NSA’s eavesdropping activities from all but a small number of government officials.

Intelligence and Congressional officials have said the unidentified program did not involve the C.I.A. interrogation program and did not involve domestic intelligence activities. They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the C.I.A. shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001 until this year.

The secret program, begun just days after September 11, 2001, was so secret, so closely held to the vest by the Bush administration, that it’s effectiveness was questionable at best.

A report released on Friday by the inspectors general of five agencies about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program makes clear that Mr. Cheney’s legal adviser, David S. Addington, had to approve personally every government official who was told about the program. The report said “the exceptionally compartmented nature of the program” frustrated F.B.I. agents who were assigned to follow up on tips it had turned up.

House Rep Jan Schakowsky has written to the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Rep Silvestre Reyes, demanding an investigation, and Rep Pete Hoekstra doesn’t want to be too “harsh” in his judgment of the agency.

In Newsweek, there’s a statement by the CIA spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, regarding the demand of seven House members that Director Panetta correct his previous testimony to the Intelligence Committee, in the light of this newly-discovered secret program:

Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, said Panetta has nothing to correct: “Director Panetta took the initiative to raise the issue with the Hill. He did so promptly and clearly, as the oversight committees themselves recognize. He stands by his statement that it is neither the policy nor the practice of the CIA to mislead Congress. He believes, as his actions show, in the importance of a candid dialogue with Congress.”  (Emphasis added)

Well, of course it’s not the official policy of the CIA to lie to Congress.  No one is going to put that kind of thing in writing, right?  Continue reading

“Torture Works” vs. “I Make Up Stories”

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Dick Cheney has been trying to tell us that torture works (okay, he still refuses to use the word “torture”, but in the interests of accuracy and clarity, I will substitute the word “torture” for any other euphemism they may utilize), that we gained valuable intelligence from its use, and that “it saved lives.” Did it, Dick? Did it really save lives? Or did it cost lives? American lives? Americans in uniform? Did your insistence on the use, and staunch defense, of a series of illegally-authorized interrogation techniques, which were based on methods known to elicit false confessions, actually end up getting one or more of our soldiers killed?

Thanks to the ACLU, we now know that Dick Cheney was lying through his gritting teeth when he said we received valuable intelligence through the use of torture, particularly in the case of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (also, and more conveniently, known as “KSM”.) He claimed that intel “saved lives.” Given Dick’s well-documented history of spreading falsehoods, I have every reason in the world to believe that not only was this statement a lie, it was actually the opposite of the truth. I have reason to believe that people died because of the information we gained through torture. And the reason is a very simple one. KSM himself said, in his statement at his “Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing” (Pg 15):

I ah cannot remember now…I be under questioning so-many statement which been some them l make up stories just location UBL. Continue reading

Rewriting history…

Wow.. Liz Cheney has now joined her dad in this push to totally rewrite history – either that, or they don’t have a TV set or a VCR to play back all the tapes of what they said and did in the first place.. And a really short memory.. Such a valiant attempt at distorting the words they used, and changing their meanings.. And to create confusion..

It is so bizarre to listen to these people going on TV, trying to totally change what was said and done, and their justifications for it. Honestly.. Who do they think they are fooling? It is just a continuation of their treating Americans like they are idiots.

Rachel Maddow interviews Michael Isikoff (author of “Hubris“) to discuss this media blitz the Cheneys are on. He tells Rachel that it is about Dick Cheney’s standing in history.

Well, the only standing I want from Dick Cheney is in front of The Hague, in an orange jumpsuit, in shackles and on his way to prison for the rest of his life, for all the war crimes he is responsible for committing, and for all the damage he has done to this country and our Constitution. 

Is that TOO much to hope for? Accountability?

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The Daily Show: “Dick (Uncut)”

This is unbelievable… “The Dick” Cheney actually had the balls to try and blame 9/11 on Richard Clarke during an interview at the Washington D.C. National Press Club…

From Comedy Central:

Dick Cheney doesn’t recall Richard Clarke warning the White House of an imminent terrorist attack months before 9/11, but he hasn’t read his book.

…Richard Clarke? Holy flipping shit. “The Dick” truly is—a dick. The man has NO shame… None.

Stewart: “THAT is a case of Ballzheimer’s Disease”…

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There’s more…

Continue reading

Jon Stewart compares yesterday’s dueling speeches

Jon Stewart takes a look at the “National Security” speeches given yesterday by President Obama and the ‘Dick’ Cheney.

It just amazed me how many times Cheney said ‘9/11’, and how he STILL throws it out there as a sign of success that we weren’t hit again after 9/11… We WERE hit on 9//11 – on THEIR watch, and after they ignored all the warnings! As Jon Stewart says:

“Isn’t it incredible how success is defined by the one thing you succeeded at..? By your metric, Clinton was successful after the ’93 World Trade Center bombings. In fact, you could make anything that way.. I have a 100% successful marriage, in that my philandering was never followed by physical violence..”

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I have to say.. The comparison of Obama’s speech, and excerpts of GW’s speeches was more than a little unnerving..

Limbaugh Gets Lambasted By Frum

There seems to be a growing consensus, amongst intellectual conservatives, that listening to an “overweight blabbermouth” is a “bad thing if Limbaugh is spokesman of the conservative movement.”   This sentiment was expressed, by their growing concern, from several conservative panelists who gathered at AEI to discuss the future of the Republican Party.  Their focus was the anti-intellectualism of today’s conservative movement.  A retired foreign service officer was asking “do we have to take our marching orders” from Limbaugh?

Case in point, Limbaugh on his May 14th radio broadcast said that David Frum and others like him want to “give Obama credit when he does the right thing,” he went on to further state, “That’s the pseudo-intellectual conservative view.  The truth is he’s incompetent.” What David Frum is taking issue with is this part of his commentary:

He is every bit the radical leftist he’s always been. This isn’t changing his mind about anything. What is happening, if anything, is that the import of his job, you know, he’s got a very fine line to walk. I was just talking about this. His base loves anything that inflames anti-American opinion. During the campaign he inflamed anti-American opinion. As a senator he voted to inflame anti-American opinion. In his early days as president he ran around the world apologizing, inflaming and encouraging anti-American opinion.

But now, I’m telling you, somebody got to him, because, look, he followed his instincts. His instincts were to release the pictures. His instincts were to let terrorists go in the United States on the street. Somebody somewhere said, “Wait a minute, for your own self-preservation, you can’t release these pictures. You’re in the Senate, you’re on the presidential campaign talking about how all this torture has ruined our image. Well, you’re America now, pal. If you release the pictures, it’s going to hurt you politically.” Don’t mistake a political calculation — Karl Rove said the other night that this bunch spends two hours a night in the White House going over the day’s polling results, to figure out what to do and where to be and what language to put on the teleprompter for The Messiah to repeat, two hours a night. So what has happened here, somebody said it’s going to harm you. Remember, everything’s about him. These pictures are gonna harm you. You want to harm America, you’re taking care of that domestically. If you want to harm America, just keep doing your domestic policy and save your butt with these pictures. And don’t release these prisoners. The Germans wouldn’t take ’em, the French, Spain. No, to answer your question, he’s not learning the truth. He’s having to set himself aside in one area, and it’s gotta be painful. I’m sure Michelle is giving him grief up there in the residence like you can’t believe.

Continue reading

It’s the Torture, Stupid

Who cares what Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it? That isn’t the point. The point is what it is that she is accused of knowing – That the Bush Administration, in violation of both US Law and International Treaty, tortured people. Continue reading

Jesse Ventura: Give Me A Water Board, Dick Cheney, And One Hour – I’ll Have Him Confess

Jesse Ventura was on the Larry King – he was talking about his experience being water boarded before going to Vietnam and that it is torture.

Jesse said, “I don’t have alot of respect for Dick Cheney.” “Here is a guy that got 5 deferments for the Vietnam War, clearly he is a coward.” “He wouldn’t go when it was his time to go and now he is a chickenhawk.”

Torture Supporters Still Supporting Torture

On Friday, May 8, MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” was guest-hosted by MSNBC contributor Lawrence O’Donnell. His first segment was on Dick Cheney’s continuing “Torture Worked Tour,” and his guests were Torture Supporters Frank Gaffney and David Rivkin. I couldn’t help but notice that O’Donnell’s style could never be confused with Rachel Maddow’s. For neither guest did O’Donnell offer words of welcome and appreciation for coming on the show, nor did he give them any thanks for being there when he was done. In fact, he treated them both rather dismissively, and for good reason. Gaffney and Rivkin should be dismissed.

(The full segment can be found on MSNBC’s website. When I figure out how to embed it here, I will.)

The segment began with a recap of Dick Cheney’s recent interview Continue reading

Letterman: Dick Cheney – How’d he do?

Dave Letterman was talking about how critical Dick Cheney has been of President Obama’s strategy.  So Letterman put together a segment called Dick Cheney – “How’d he do”.  Very funny 🙂   Cheney makes a statement and Letterman lets you know how he did with a buzzer.