01 December, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Somebody needs to hit Bill O'Reilly with a really fucking big clue-by-four:

Today on the Radio Factor, a listener called in to tell Bill O’Reilly that she had “zero confidence” in Obama’s ability to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In the course of her call, the listener expressed mock concern for the detainees that were mistreated there. O’Reilly, apparently missing the caller’s sarcastic tone, interrupted her to falsely claim that “no proof” exists to back-up accusations of mistreatment and that his two tours of the prison facility confirm that:

OREILLY: [T]here are accusations of mistreatment at Guantanamo, but there’s certainly no proof that ever happened. I think they were rough in the beginning after 9/11, that some stuff happened that shouldn’t have, but I went there twice and we have good contacts there. And, I think that they basically got that under control pretty quickly.


Despite O’Reilly’s claims, “proof” of mistreatment and torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay does exist. In 2004, the Red Cross documented “cruel, inhumane and degrading” treatment of detainees while inspecting the facility. Perhaps more disturbing, the Guardian reported last year:

Captives at Guantánamo Bay were chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor for 18 hours or more, urinating and defecating on themselves, an FBI report has revealed. … One witness said he saw a barefoot detainee shaking with cold because the air conditioning had bought the temperature close to freezing.

But, y'know, he has good contacts who don't let him see this stuff, so it obviously doesn't happen.

It'll be interesting if the day ever comes when O'Reilly ever admits he's a raving fucktard. Bush is edging closer to that moment, and it's vastly entertaining:

We've heard Bush express some various regrets in recent years, but I think this one is a first.

Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency."

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush told ABC News' Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on "World News."

"In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack,'" he said. "In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Bush, who has been a stalwart defender of the war in Iraq and maintaining U.S. troop presence there, said, in retrospect, the war exceeded his expectations.

The president added, "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess." Asked if he would have gone to war if he knew Iraq did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, Bush said, "That is a do-over that I can't do."

He "wishes the intelligence had been different." Well, I wish he'd listened to it in the first fucking place. As I recall, there was plenty of good intel pointing to the fact that his own intel was fabricated, made up, and nothing but a pack of neocon lies, but that's not what he wanted to hear, so he discarded it.

But at least this twinge of regret is a start. Now, if we could just get him to admit that he should've been more interested in what bin Laden was doing rather than in his brush-clearing issues, that would be fantastic.

It might also be nice if he'd admit we're in a recession of his own making:

It's common now to hear Bush administration officials, asked about the financial crisis, insist that they had no idea this meltdown was coming. Unfortunately, they were warned, but ignored the concerns.

The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents. [...]

Bowing to aggressive lobbying -- along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK -- regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way. [...]

The administration's blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of its governing philosophy, which trusted market forces and discounted the value of government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.

Many of the banks that fought to undermine the proposals by some regulators are now either out of business or accepting billions in federal aid to recover from a mortgage crisis they insisted would never come. Many executives remain in high-paying jobs, even after their assurances were proved false.

More than three years ago, bank regulators "proposed new guidelines for banks writing risky loans," and looking over the proposals -- "banks would have been required to increase efforts to verify that buyers actually had jobs and could afford houses," and "regulators proposed a cap on risky mortgages so a string of defaults wouldn't be crippling" -- it's easy to see how regulations could have prevented the worst.

However, it seems like Bush and his merry band of ravening fuckwits are bound and determined not to use the "r" word:

Earlier today, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that “the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy.” The group, which the White House has previously pointed to as the determinative body for declaring a recession, said in a statement that the “decline in economic activity” after Dec. ‘07 “was large enough to qualify as a recession.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto commented on the news “without ever actually using the word ‘recession.’” Instead, Fratto released a statement saying the White House was focused on what they “can do for the economy right now.”

Yup. Denying reality to the bitter end.

After all of that, we could probably use some entertainment, eh? Check out Sarah Palin's stump speeches for Saxby Chambliss. If you suspected the woman hasn't got an original thought in her head, you'd be right:

Today, Gov. Sarah Palin traveled to Georgia to campaign for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R), who faces a tough runoff election tomorrow against Democratic challenger Jim Martin. In the first of four stops today, in Augusta, Palin told the crowd, “The eyes of the nation are on you,” adding, “The stakes are so high” and that “America is counting on you.”

Yet despite Palin’s insistence on the importance of the Chambliss race, she apparently couldn’t bring herself to write a new stump speech. Instead, she recycled many of her favorite lines from this fall, substituting Chambliss’ name for Sen. John McCain’s...

Enjoy the examples. And enjoy the thought that soon, most of these people are going to be as irrelevant as yesterday's tea bag.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

The incestuous relationship between the press and the government, particularly Republicans, could make even an optimist pessimistic about our future. O'Reilly is but one example of this, and a comparatively harmless one, I think. No one with the least bit of sense would accuse him of being impartial.