Bastardized Bush Bombs

Nearly all news news outlets of record repeated Bush’s claim of 30,000 Iraqi’s killed as if it is no big deal.

“He was citing what he has read in media reports,” said spokesman Scott McClellan.

Another Iraqi Civilian Death The 30,000 figure isn’t inaccurate by any count — but isn’t it downright shocking? The media should elaborate instead of chuckling along with cute Georgie, perhaps providing figures from the Oxford Research Group’s thorough “A Dossier on Civilian Casualties in Iraq, 2003-2005.” (.pdf here). Among other things, the report clarifies that:

Post-invasion, the number of civilians killed was almost twice as high in year two (11,351) as in year one (6,215).

David Sirota delivers a poignant post this morning, admonishing the shamefully distant reactions of the media and the public to Bush’s speech in Philadelphia yesterday.

Sirota writes:

His comments, the media’s reflexive complicity, and the audience’s laughter, is an incredible, if silent, commentary on just how callous our society has become to the real consequences of our government’s behavior.

Sirota is referring to this grotesquely absurd exchange during Bush’s Q & A yesterday:

QUESTION: Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I’d like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators.

THE PRESIDENT: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We’ve lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq. Yes.

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: I’ll repeat the question. If I don’t like it, I’ll make it up. (Laughter and applause.)

Laughter??? Applause?!?!?

Well, chuckle on – no worries, because as an AFP wire story has it today, the White House is distancing itself from the 30,000-killed figure, “blaming terrorists for ‘a significant number’ of the dead and saying the figure is not official.”

If the terrorists are to blame for most of these deaths, how then did they increase during the so-called “last throes” of the insurgency?

And if the MSM can’t pick it up from here… perhaps Howard Fineman’s fingernails-to-the-blackboard portrayal of the real Bob Woodward last night (via Atrios) can serve as inspiration:

“He’s a great reporter, but he’s become a great reporter of official history.” Fineman, Newsweek’s chief political correspondent, concluded his uplifting lecture with this: “The news about news is really bad.” AP Photo

The Heretik spots, and outlines a new four-point narrative being revealed in Bush’s speeches leading up to Thursday’s elections in Iraq…. check it out.

After the jump, a word from our bold leaders, followed by a little story outrage regarding our fallen soldiers’ wooden box homecoming…
Continue reading “Bastardized Bush Bombs”

Wolcott on the MSM’s circus of “Circle jerks”

via cagle.com
James Wolcott, as he is apt to do, just annihilated my post-in-progress with this vapid and hilarious assessment of the msm v. blog credibility dichotomy in light of so-called “top-tier” journalists recent escapades in patheticism.

No blogger has comported him or herself with the lazy arrogance and sloppy ethics of some of the Big Names in journalism (Bob Woodward, Judith Miller, Bob Novak), nor has done as much damage to the public’s right to know and their own profession.

Go ahead, read the rest of his “Circle Jerks” post.

[Vanity Fair has just released writer Seth Mnookin’s feature expose on Judith Miller. E&P has the lowdown here. James Wolcott is a contributing editor to VF]

Frank Rich: Pentagon Propaganda is “Pure Ali G”

Early reviews are mixed on the charge-for-content concept — personally, I think I’m in good as my Sundays-only New York Times print subscription includes full access to TimesSelect.

Today I had one of those couple-times-a-year multimedia zen moments and it involved listening to Mark Moran read Frank Rich’s Sunday NYT column It Takes a Potemkin Village while trying to read theh broadsheet in my hands.

Stricken by the sharp humor after one and a half paragraphs… i had to just sit back and listen — i was laughing too hard to even read.

Its a challenge to find the podcast page even if you DO have TimesSelect access, so I’ve decided to take the liberty and host this .mp3 right here for all to enjoy.

Click the icon to get to the TS podcasts page.

Click here to listen to (or download) the .mp3 (podcast) of the aforementioned op-ed column, especially if you find yourself convulsing too hard with laughter to enable a proper read.

For a great contextual run-down of the term “Potemkin village,” including its historical meaning; see Ed Strong’s blog.

Is the U.S. shrugging off American hostages in Iraq?

American Hostage
The report of an American hostage killed Thursday, if confirmed, represents the first foreign hostage killed in Iraq in four months and the first American in over a year.

Who is this reportedly slain hostage? NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska reported Wednesday:

Family members have confirmed that the American hostage on a video released Tuesday is, in fact, Ronald Schulz of Eagle River.

Schulz grew up a farm boy in North Dakota and later became a marine, according to Thursday night’s KTUU news, which included footage of his family members at a press conference:

?Our family is aware that the Iraqi people have concerns regarding the U.S. government presence in their country. However, murdering Ron will not solve these issues,? said Julie Schulz, Ron Schulz?s sister.

It appears that Schulz, an industrial electrician, purchased a round trip ticket from Anchorage to Amman, Jordan, where some believed that he was to marry, others were unsure whether the trip was for business or pleasure, according to KTUU.
family of Ronald Schulz

While the kidnapping of Schulz is confirmed, Thursday’s claim that he was murdered was posted on an Islamic militant website as reported by CTV:

“[T]he American security consultant for the Housing Ministry was killed after the end of the deadline set to respond to the Islamic Army’s demands.”

The U.S. government squelched the claims immediately, and it rotated to the back of most news round-ups.
Continue reading “Is the U.S. shrugging off American hostages in Iraq?”

New Congressional Votes Database

Thanks to Adrian Holovaty, developer of ChicagoCrime.org, there is now a searchable “U.S. Congress Votes Database,” allowing users to browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.

Holovaty, now an employee of WashingtonPost/Newsweek.com and a host of the “Mashington Post,” WaPo mash-up center, explains this valuable resource in his blog:

“You can subscribe to an RSS feed for any senator or representative…” the database includes such amusing aggregations as “votes that happen after midnight, vote missers, and on a lighter note, vote totals by astrological sign.”

Updated daily, we’ll never be left curious as to which Congressmen turn into werewolves at full moon.