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Iraq is imploding right before our eyes

Despite the fact that the corporate media is baffled by the fact that once they stopped reporting about Iraq, people had a “better” feeling about how things were going, the fruits of arming both sides, bribing Sunnis to not kill us but then not paying the bribe money, an end to al Sadr’s ceasefire and a lack of any positive movement on nearly every benchmark set at the beginning of “the surge” are all coming together in a perfect storm.

In short, things have gone from horrible to miserable over the past couple of days (even since I wrote about the rapidly devolving situation a few short weeks ago).

Let’s talk about leaving Iraq. Seriously.

A few months ago, I suggested that we tie the cost of Iraq to everything, and it is good to see that Obama did just that when he tied Iraq the the economic peril that we face here in America.

But it isn’t just for “strategic” or “political” reasons that this should be done.  It should be done because, well, it is true.  The price of oil, the economy, the deficit, that things that we could otherwise be spending money on, a sane energy policy, national security, foreign policy decisions and matters – they all are impacted by what is going on in Iraq.

Public funds for private bailouts but not healthcare

If I have to have my taxpayer dollars go to no bid deals for Halliburton, that is bad enough.  But if I have to have my taxpayer dollars go to bailing out a private company like Bear Stearns (and there will be others who are in major imminent trouble), then that shows a stunning display of absolute contempt by this current government towards the needs of We the People.

Many remember that, back in the 1980’s, Drexel Burnham Lambert was allowed to fold into bankruptcy because of illegal actions.  And even the S&L bailout in the 1980’s (that John W. McCain helped his buddy Charles Keating with) was not a private investment bank that has private profit sharing for its owners, employees and investors but not the public, who is now being forced to use public funding to prop up a private company, whose profits were most certainly not being shared with the American taxpayers.

Surprise! McCain BBQ attendees skew their reporting of him

For starters, a hat tip to Daily Kos community member Jay Ackroyd for pulling together a list of those corporate media talking meatsticks who attended John W. McCain’s BBQ lovefest at the beginning of March.  I’ve put that list at the end of the diary, so we can all keep tabs on this.

In looking over some of these attendees’ recent reports, columns and newscasts, there has been identifiable bias towards John W. McCain, and should be called out on their misleading behavior and irresponsible journalism.  There are over 25 on this list, but I’ll point out a few of the offenders here.  Needless to say, we are not just fighting against McCain, we are fighting against the media, who is already pointing out that since they stopped reporting on Iraq, people’s opinions about it have improved.

Media finds increased support for Iraq occupation since reporting on it stopped

In the latest head smacking example that shows just how much impact the corporate media has on how people feel about things, we see that people’s views of Iraq are “better” over the past few months.

It is also interesting to note that there has been a decrease in the overall reporting about Iraq from 15% of the total stories as recently as last July to a mere 3% in February 2008.  And what do we get in that time period?

McCain’s torture should raise questions about his fitness to lead

John McCain did not deserve to be tortured.  Neither does anyone else – even putting aside the fact that it just doesn’t work.  The fact that he had to endure the physical and emotional suffering that he did – for more than five years – is a testament to the determination he showed during that terrible time in his life.

But that doesn’t make him more fit to lead the US military and exercise the measured, calculated, deliberative judgment that is required if that White House phone rings at 3AM.  Rather, it raises questions about whether his decision making ability is clouded (and if you listen to his republican Senate colleagues, it certainly isn’t for the better) by his experience.

Of course, John Kerry, who heroically served in Vietnam and receive Purple Hearts is a terrorist loving traitor, and the press will no doubt be just as fair to someone whose fellow soldiers in Vietnam remind us as the one who lost 5 US Navy aircraft and was a below average student in the Naval Academy.

Real REAL bad stuff going on in Iraq

So it has pretty much been adopted by many of those who still deny reality that the “decrease in violence” is the proof that the ill fated escalation worked.  And it is also evident that John W. McCain has been a chief proponent and certainly the main beneficiary of this absolutely over simplistic and erroneous line of thinking.

But, buried in the hullabaloo of the latest Democrat to be in the cross hairs (due in large part to his own actions), as well as the obsession over the Clinton/Obama tit-for-tat is some news from Iraq that really does not bode well.  I offer a bit of analysis, but more in the way of information as to the situation on the ground.

What if Clinton or Obama took the lead on a major issue?

I’ll be brief.

You know what I would like to see from the Presidential candidates who just so happen to be Senators in a time where the current political climate is crying for real leadership from prominent members of the Senate?  I’d like to see them take a step back – even if for a day or two – even in a major speech, hell, even in a campaign advertisement – and really step up on one of the many issues that is facing this country right now.

They have run two very different and two very successful campaigns.  I approve of one a lot less than the other, but even with all that “the other” campaign has said, done or focused on, if that Senator actually spoke out strongly and forcefully about telecom immunity, or the ongoing funding of total destruction, loss of life and waste in Iraq, or some of the other laws being ignored or broken by this administration, then I wouldn’t care about the rest of the campaign.

That Senator would really impress me.

Do your job or resign

Did anyone NOT see this coming after another Democratic Congressional Leadership very special “sternly worded letter” to Mukasey (a man that would never have been Attorney General if Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein had any sense of dignity) about subpoenas being ignored by Miers and Rove?

Did anyone NOT think that the House Democrats would ultimately waver for a possible cave on telecom immunity after Reid let Rockefeller’s telecom immunity bill pass the Senate, despite the fact that nearly 60% of people are against telecom immunity?

Did anyone NOT think that the RNC would decide to just stop looking for the emails that were erased on purpose, despite the fact that they were ORDERED to be turned over to Congress?

McCain’s matching funds problem: more than just the bank loan

I haven’t seen this discussed much, but there is something that Matt Browner Hamlin pointed out earlier today that brings John McCain’s use of the public financing provisions to a whole new level (at least it would seem that way).

You see, McCain didn’t just “sort of pledge” it as collateral for a bank loan.  He also used it to shortcut his way onto the Ohio ballot.  So, to me (and I am just a dumb blogger), it would seem that either he is locked into the public financing or he can be ineligible for the Ohio republican primary and taken off the ballot.  Now, since he pretty much has the nomination close to sewn up, it would seem to be smart politics to make himself ineligible for the Ohio primary.  But the bigger picture here is the shenanigans that McCain is going through with respect to the matching funds in order to give himself either an advantage or stay in the race, and he is using campaign finance laws – the same laws that he claims to champion – in order to do so.

So much for his credibility, integrity and reputation as a “reformer”.

John McLobbyist and the company he keeps

As the right wing extremists continue to try and paint this McCain lobbyist story as about sex when it is clear that even the Washington Post realizes that it is about the “anti-lobbyist’s” surrounding himself with lobbyists.

Meaning his trustworthyness, his double talk, his lack of character, his lack of, well, credibility.

This is the story.  This what John McLobbyist is all about.  As Red Wind says, he has the “straightest talk that money can buy.  But it is more than just lobbyists.  

Focus, people. “It’s the credibility, stupid”

No, I’m not calling you stupid.

But there will be a lot of different permutations and lots of spin coming from this story which seems to have fallen from above and into our laps.  And there will be a lot of attempts to detract from the various pieces (sex scandal, lobbyist favors, etc.) and focus on “the NY Times is lying” or other things that are not really the meat of this story.

And yes, there are already different angles here, but this is the general way that the “counter attack” will be played out.  Don’t address the issue, attack the messenger.  Classic ad hominem attack and was used to bury the Bush National Guard story by making it about CBS and Dan Rather instead of actually addressing the substance of the story.

Mark my words – this will be used by McCain and his camp, if it already hasn’t started.  And the ONLY response is to shoot down the ad hominem attack and focus on the real story – the story of John McCain’s lack of credibility and believability.

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