Asking Questions

As the security situation in Iraq becomes more (to use the Bush administration's preferred term) desperate, many have questioned whether more American troops will be needed for the mission. During his press conference Tuesday, President Bush said the current size of the force was sufficient to the task -- although, true to his character, he pointed to someone else as being responsible for any decision, thus escaping blame if it turns out to be the wrong call. As Elizabeth Bumiller reported … [Read more...]


"Sforzian" is Elisabeth Bumiller's term to describe the handiwork of: Scott Sforza, a former ABC producer who was hired by the Bush campaign in Austin, Tex., and who now works for Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. Mr. Sforza created the White House "message of the day" backdrops and helped design the $250,000 set at the United States Central Command forward headquarters in Doha, Qatar, during the Iraq war. That's from this May 16 New York Times … [Read more...]

Down the Tubes

"They were rockets. The tubes were used for rockets." That's from "Australian Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Meekin, who commands the Joint Captured Enemy Materiel Exploitation Center, the largest of a half-dozen units that report to [David] Kay [head of the Iraq Survey Group]." Meekin is quoted by Barton Gellman in today's Washington Post in an article bluntly titled "Search in Iraq Fails to Find Nuclear Threat." And it's just one aspect of a long list of … [Read more...]

Thrilla in Manila

Harper's, James Pinkerton and Slate's Fred Kaplan all noted the disturbing historical precedent that President Bush cited in his speech in the Philippines. From Harper's "Weekly Review": President George W. Bush traveled to Asia and gave a speech in Manila comparing Iraq to the Philippines, a former U.S. colony that was "liberated" from Spain in 1898 and occupied for 48 years. Bush said that the Philippines, which he called "the oldest democracy in … [Read more...]

A Dangerous Man

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is, like Joseph Wilson, both in a position to know the whole truth and brave enough to tell it to anybody who'll listen. On Sunday, McGovern spoke to a community group in Rochester, N.Y.: The Bush administration lied to Congress to pave the way for war with Iraq, alleged a former CIA analyst who visited Rochester on Sunday. ... “Never have I seen such a cynically orchestrated campaign over a year and a half,’’ he said. “Only a few weeks ago did Bush admit that … [Read more...]

Rhymes with “Mrs. Sharpie”

Atrios brings us this delightful observation from Barbara Bush, the queen mother: "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" (Via Notes from Atlanta. Bush's comment was made in an interview with Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America," March 18 -- see here.) File under: Support … [Read more...]

The Good, the Bad and the Hackneyed

Congratulations to David Brooks of The New York Times who Saturday became the 100,000th pundit to submit a column titled "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Times staffers gathered for a special ceremony commemorating the event, at which Clint Eastwood presented Brooks with a plaque marking the occasion. "When we were shooting this film, we knew we had something special," Eastwood said. "A classic Western in the grand tradition. But we didn't realize then that … [Read more...]


Atrios points out this delightfully absurd story from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush -- living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge -- told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately. Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any … [Read more...]