Thursday, April 26, 2007

Iraq is the Briar Patch

Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films is out with a new video today commemorating the 4th anniversary of Bush's infamous Mission Accomplished speech. It's an interesting mix of spoken word poetry and archival footage. You can see it here:

Here's what I love about this video. Finally someone said what a lot of people have been thinking--IRAQ IS THE BRIAR PATCH. Osama Bin Laden both expected and wanted us to invade Iraq. Sitting in his cave for years, OF COURSE he thought 3 moves down the chess board. Bin Laden's gameplan probably looked something like this--attack America, Bush will invade Iraq, which will produce more recruits for the global jihad, which will start the cycle all over again. Bin Laden has been playing chess while Bush is playing checkers.

Check out, "What Would RFK Do About 9/11," for a better strategy for ending terrorism.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's New Year's Day 1969, Go!

This past Thursday I attended a fascinating workshop at the Conference on World Affairs. The workshop was called, "1968 and the Death of Aspirational Politics" and included 3 panelists--Terry McNally, Sanho Tree, and Joe Wilson.

For a long time, I've felt that the United States is facing a crisis of ideation--we seem to lack the ability to imagine a world at peace, to come up with innovative solutions to the vexing problems we face. This workshop helped put this crisis of ideation in context. The panelist argued that the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy dramatically reshaped America and helped contribute to the small minded politics we see today. To their credit the panelists also proposed ways to return to an aspiration politics.

Inspired by the workshop, I want to propose an ideation exercise. Perhaps better questions will lead to better politics? Here goes:
It's New Year's day 1969. Both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. are alive. Bobby Kennedy has been elected President in a landslide. What happens next? What policies emerge? What does America look like after 8 years of a Bobby Kennedy administration? Then what does the world look like after 8 years of a Martin Luther King, Jr. administration?
Please post your ideas in the comments. The best idea will be featured in a future blog post.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bush searches for a new Commander in Chief, Day 3

The Washington Post reports that 4 generals have now turned down the job.

Last night Daily Show correspondent John Oliver weighed in on Bush's search for a new Commander in Chief.

Crooks & Liars also has the complete video segment here.

I always thought Cheney was the real Commander in Chief but it sounds like national security adviser Stephen Hadley is the only guy in the Oval Office who actually does any work. Asked about the proposed appointment of someone to oversee the Iraq war, Hadley replied:
"My goal is to make the person really work for and be seen to work for the president, and be able to speak in his name... I can do it, and I do do it, but I can't do it and North Korea and Iran and all the other things I've got to do." (He said he will jettison the title "execution manager" to avoid unintended double meaning.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bush searchs for new Commander in Chief, Day 2

I wish I was making this up. From today's New York Times:
Four years after the fall of Baghdad, the White House is once again struggling to solve an old problem: Who is in charge of carrying out policy in Iraq?

Once again President Bush and his top aides are searching for a high-level coordinator capable of cutting through military, political and reconstruction strategies that have never operated in sync, in Washington or in Baghdad.

Once again Mr. Bush is publicly declaring that his administration has settled on a strategy for victory — this time, a troop increase that is supposed to open political space for Sunnis and Shiites to live and govern together — even while his top aides acknowledge that the White House has never gotten the execution right.

“We’re trying to learn from our experience,” Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, said in an interview on Wednesday. Confirming a report that first appeared in The Washington Post, Mr. Hadley said he had been sounding out retired military commanders to assess their interest in a job where they would report directly to President Bush.

All 3 generals who have been approached about the job have turned it down.

Most administrations have a name for the guy who is in charge. It's called the President. Bush makes the Presidency sound like a night manager at Denny's who's having trouble filling all of his shifts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bush tries to hire someone else to be Commander in Chief

Today's Washington Post reports (incredibly this is NOT a story from The Onion):
The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
It seems that even Bush doesn't approve of the job Bush is doing.

If Bush seriously doesn't want to be Commander in Chief anymore, I'm pretty sure the Constitution has the flexibility to deal with this sort of situation. Or he could follow the example of Cheney's previous boss.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Problem with Phil De Vellis

By now everyone knows that ParkRidge47, the creator of the Hillary 1984 viral video, is actually Phillip De Vellis.

He posted an article on Huffington Post.

He's been interviewed on YouTube.

And he's been interviewed on MyDD.

It seems to me that there is no question that he is a clever video editor. He apparently made the clip on his Mac laptop one weekend using Final Cut Pro, Motion, and "a little Photoshop" and visually it's amazing.

But as a political strategist--going nuclear like this on a fellow Democrat seems insane.

Anytime Fox News runs your ad 5 times a day you've clearly screwed up.

Think of how much more effective this ad would have been if Phil had used images of Bush and the Iraq war?

There's a reason why Republicans win elections (other than of course rigging the computers, and voter intimidation)--they play as a team.

To me, any one of the leading Democratic candidates (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, or Richardson) would make an amazing president and lead this country out of the misery of 8 years of Republican rule. Progressives need to keep their on the prize--taking back the White House.

It's great that a regular Joe made a pretty ad on his mac. But at the end of the day he helped the Republican National Committee and hurt his own candidate.

Dude deserved to get fired from Blue State Digital.