Stepping up its probe of allegedly improper campaigning by churches, the Internal Revenue Service on Friday ordered a liberal Pasadena parish to turn over all the documents and e-mails it produced during the 2004 election year with references to political candidates.
All Saints Episcopal Church and its rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon, have until Sept. 29 to present the sermons, newsletters and electronic communications.
Posts filed under ‘George W. Bush and Co.’
My Tweet of the Day:
Really? REALLY? Just about all of this is horse shit:
President George W. Bush led our nation through some of the most challenging moments of our nation’s history — and we miss him and his leadership. In honor of President George W. Bush’s birthday, we’re offering a blue, special-edition “I Miss W.” t-shirt.
By sporting this comfortable, classic, American-made tee, you can share our message and help us elect principled conservative leaders to office.
In a perfect world George W. Bush would be in prison for war crimes but I would settle for this: From the White House’s petition site:
Nominate former President George W. Bush respectfully be named the next U.S. Ambassador to the country of Iraq.
In the best interest of both Nations, we the undersigned, respectfully request that Former President George W. Bush be nominated for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the Nation of Iraq. Said position should include all rights and responsibilities of the Ambassador, including residence in the country in which they are representing the interests of the United States.
And make it for life.
Iraq Turmoil Troubles Parents of Dead GIs
For the parents of U.S. service men and women who died in Iraq’s long war, the latest news about advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a trigger for powerful memories and a sense of profound loss.
At kitchen tables, in their living rooms and on visits to the cemeteries where their children rest under white marble headstones, the stories of Iraq’s disintegration spark long talks, anger, tears and even laughter.
But they also share a dreadful, sinking feeling that things will get so bad in Iraq that President Barack Obama will yield to critics calling on him to save that nation, even if it means sending thousands of troops back.
“I was relieved to hear the president say he was not going to send our troops into combat. But on the other end of it, those that are saying we should, feel free to come to my house, come talk to me and let me tell you the effects of war firsthand,” said Kim Smith, whose son Army Pvt. Robert L. Frantz, died June 17, 2003, in Iraq.
I lived through the Vietnam war. I’ve seen this movie before.
This happened ten days ago, June 20:
Obama: U.S. Sending Military Advisers to Iraq
Edging back into a military role in Iraq, President Barack Obama on Thursday said he was dispatching up to 300 military advisers to help quell the rising insurgency in the crumbling nation.
This happened today:
US Sending 300 More US Troops to Iraq
The U.S. is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to beef up security at the U.S. Embassy and elsewhere in the Baghdad area to protect U.S. citizens and property, officials said Monday.
That raises the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq to approximately 750, the Pentagon said.
On June 20 they were “advisers.” Now they’re troops. Here we go folks. I predict by the end of the year we’ll have 5,000 “advisers”/troops in Iraq dying, draining our economic resources and making not one bit of a difference in what happens in that region in the long run.
Let’s listen to the families of those who know what war is. Yes, defense contractors might be feeling a bit of a pinch and they might want our tax dollars to pour into their bank accounts again but let’s say no this time. For once.
This is where we are today:
This is an incredibly striking sentence from The Guardian‘s coverage of the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)’s takeover of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul:
Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters.
The Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS by about 40:1 in Mosul. Yet the army still turned tail and ran — ran so fast, in fact, as to leave some of their tanks and helicopters behind.
I’m proud to say I opposed invading Iraq from day one. We’ve destroyed the place. The billions of tax dollars we spent there are down the drain and the lives lost on all sides were — tragically — for naught.
That was eleven years ago today.
Greg Mitchell wrote an e-book about media coverage in the run-up to and the early months of the Iraq war. Today he reminds us of how the corporate media reported Bush’s trip out to that aircraft carrier on that day eleven years ago. It illustrates how deeply broken our media is. Everyone quoted here should have been fired for violating the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:
Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and boomed, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” He added: “Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.”
PBS’ Gwen Ifill said Bush was “part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan.” On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, “The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a—on a carrier landing.”
Bob Schieffer on CBS said: “As far as I’m concerned, that was one of the great pictures of all time.” His guest, Joe Klein, responded: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me.”
Maureen Dowd in her column declared: “Out bounded the cocky, rule-breaking, daredevil flyboy, a man navigating the Highway to the Danger Zone, out along the edges where he was born to be, the further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.
“He flashed that famous all-American grin as he swaggered around the deck of the aircraft carrier in his olive flight suit, ejection harness between his legs, helmet tucked under his arm, awestruck crew crowding around. Maverick was back, cooler and hotter than ever, throttling to the max with joystick politics.”
When Bush’s jet landed on the aircraft carrier, American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded.
I think Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was the biggest scam ever. Put another way, I was an idiot to vote for the guy.
This would be Obama in 2007:
This would be Obama today:
Apparently net neutrality is officially dead. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the FCC has given up on finding a legal avenue to enforce equal access and will instead propose rules that explicitly allow broadband suppliers to favor companies that pay them for faster pipes.
Shorter: If you have a website, the more money you pay to, say, Comcast, the higher your visibility.
Guess who wins. Again?
The people who have $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
You and me and our little blogs? Bye bye.
Once an Arab Model, Baghdad Now World’s Worst City
BAGHDAD – As recently as the 1970s, Baghdad was lauded as a model city in the Arab world. But now, after decades of seemingly endless conflict, it is the world’s worst city.
That is, at least, according to the latest survey by the Mercer consulting group, which when assessing quality of life across 239 cities, measuring factors including political stability, crime and pollution, placed Baghdad last.
The Iraqi capital was lumped with Bangui in the conflict-hit Central African Republic and the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, the latest confirmation of the 1,250-year-old city’s fall from grace as a global intellectual, economic and political center.
Residents of Baghdad contend with near-daily attacks, a lack of electricity and clean water, poor sewerage and drainage systems, rampant corruption, regular gridlock, high unemployment and a myriad other problems.
“We live in a military barracks,” complained Hamid al-Daraji, a paper salesman, referring to the ubiquitous checkpoints, concrete blast walls and security forces peppered throughout the city.
This happened 11 years ago tonight:
Watch it. I’m serious. It’s amazing how much pleasure CNN got from showing live video of bombs blowing people up.
I remember thinking how thrilled Americans would be about this: explosions, patriotism and oh yeah, they’re gonna pay! We bad!
Eleven years on:
There is no way the United States can say a thing like this ever, from now, until the end of time:
Kerry Condemns Russia’s ‘Incredible Act of Aggression’ in Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine and threatened economic sanctions by the United States and allies to isolate Moscow, but called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”
Poor George. I think this is how he’ll be remembered…forever:
Remember shock and awe? (I’m proud to say I was against the invasion of Iraq from day one.)
Remember how excited the “liberal media” was when shock and awe started? Seriously. Watch this video. It’s as if we went insane:
Remember how in 2008 George W. Bush acknowledged that al Qaeda didn’t have a presence in Iraq until the invasion: Bush Acknowledges Absence Of Al Qaeda In Pre-Occupation Iraq With A ‘So What?’
Remember how we’re spending somewhere between $4 trillion to $6 trillion on the war on Afghanistan and Iraq?
Remember how dead and wounded Americans amount to somewhere between 4,000 and 100,000?
Extrapolate that out to include medical costs, devastated husbands and wives and parents and brothers and sisters and children who are living with the ramifications.
Okay. So now we have this as of today:
And I will remind you again of this: Remember how in 2008 George W. Bush acknowledged that al Qaeda didn’t have a presence in Iraq until the invasion: Bush Acknowledges Absence Of Al Qaeda In Pre-Occupation Iraq With A ‘So What?’
Happy New Year.
Dick’s daughter Liz is running for the senate in Wyoming. Stooping to kissing the ass of her base, Liz came out against gay marriage. Her gay sister, who got married last year, wasn’t too happy about that and posted on Facebook that Liz is “on the wrong side of history.”
Here’s what Dick had to say about that yesterday:
“We were surprised that there was an attack launched against Liz on Facebook, and wished it hadn’t happened,” Cheney said at the National Press Club. “It’s always been dealt with within the context of the family and frankly that’s our preference.”
As a daughter who had a not-so-nice father, I find two things about what Cheney said reminiscent of my dad. One, that he has taken sides, namely Liz’s, and two, that he referred to what Mary posted as an “attack.”
Way to treat Mary like shit, huh? Is Dick throwing her under the bus to help Liz’s campaign? Disgusting if so.
You mean to tell me we’ve spent how many lives and how many bazillion dollars in Afghanistan and the most optimistic thing its president has to say lo these many years on is that they won’t stone people to death anymore?
This is progress?
Stoning Will Not be Brought Back, Says Afghan President — Hamid Karzai’s government backs away from reintroduction of brutal punishment after outcry
Afghanistan’s government has backed away from a proposal to reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery after the leak of a draft law stirred up a storm of international condemnation.
The president, Hamid Karzai, said in an interview that the grim penalty, which became a symbol of Taliban brutality when the group were in power, would not be coming back.
“Karzai’s government,” meaning Karzai at the very least approved it, proposed “reintroduce public stoning as a punishment for adultery.” (I bet 99.9% of the people stoned would be women.) In other words, the guy the Bush administration installed as president there wants stoning to be brought back, but that caused “international condemnation” so he back down?
That means it’ll happen but the government will look away.
Gee. Things are going swimmingly there, huh?
What’s up is down, what’s down is up:
The decision by the University of Denver to honor former President George W. Bush at a DU fundraiser has been controversial for months. Now, with Bush scheduled to speak at downtown Denver event this evening, a group of concerned students and alumni, among others, are planning a protest and press conference in advance of the get-together, with one organizer expressing fears that the money collected will be used to promote an agenda that flies in the face of the university’s values.
This event is happening just down the road as I post this.
Talk about rewriting history: George W. Bush is being honored as having improved the human condition? Really? Estimates range from 109,032 to 1,033,000 dead in the Iraq war he lied us into.
The March on Washington happened on August 28, 1963,
and oh my god, I can’t believe we’re going to have to do it again 50 years later.
Here’s a little slice of what African-Americans are up against every day in the good ol’ U.S. of A., not to mention fighting anew for the right to vote, thanks to George W. Bush’s Supreme Court and the Republican party:
Her dad helped lie the United States into a war that killed thousands and thousands of people so Liz Cheney had quite a teacher when it comes to lying:
U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Lynne Cheney posted a $220 bond in Ninth Circuit Court in Teton County on Monday on a charge of making a false statement to procure a fishing license.
A citation/complaint ticket in the court file states that Cheney “fail[ed] to meet residency requirements as required,” according to the ticket signed by Wyoming Game and Fish Jackson Supervisor Tim Fuchs.
The citation alleges the infraction took place on or about 9:18 a.m. Aug. 3, 2012 at West Bank Anglers near Teton Village.
The infraction would violate Wyoming statute 23-3-403 (a), according to the ticket. That statute reads, “No person shall procure or attempt to procure any license or tag under this act by false swearing, fraud, or false statement of any kind or in any form.” Violation constitutes a high misdemeanor.
What a stupid thing to lie about. So easily verifiable, or refutable (how long she lived in the state) I should say. Guess those Cheneys just can’t help themselves.
Fast forward to today and the results of a question asked in a Louisiana poll by Public Policy Polling, August 16 – 19, 2013:
Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?
George W. Bush: 28%
Barack Obama: 29%
Not Sure: 44%
Holly cow. What the hell are they smokin’ down there?
The biggest thing here in the USofA today has to do with the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
The cover story is about how “The [Boston] bomber” Jahar Tsarnaev (above) was a “Popular, Promising Student” who “Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”
I think the photo choice is brilliant. It makes Rolling Stone’s point: A cool-looking, sexy, regular guy who your daughter goes to school with and might want to date turns into a bomber and a monster when radicalized by what the United States does to his people.
That’s how terrorists are born.
Bombers and “monsters” aren’t born looking like this:
We like to think we can spot them; that they’re somehow obvious, like this guy.
What the Rolling Stone cover/article attempts to teach us is that we can’t spot them and they aren’t obvious. They are everywhere and it’s about time we faced that fact.
What we’re doing as a country — as in killing innocent people with drones and starting wars hither and yawn — is coming back to haunt us and the “monsters” live among us. They are our neighbors and our friends.
The bazillions we’re spending hunting down the very last “bomber” on the planet is getting us nowhere.
Let’s not have a fit about the cover of Rolling Stone. Let’s have a fit about what the U.S. government is doing to turn the Jahar Tsarnaevs of the world against us.
Just sayin’ folks. Let’s not forget that the Bush administration did some pretty reprehensible things with the IRS too:
The IRS investigation was triggered by an antiwar sermon delivered by its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, at the church two days before the 2004 presidential election. The summons even requests utility bills to establish costs associated with hosting Regas’ speech. Bacon was ordered to testify before IRS officials Oct. 11.
The tax code bars nonprofits, including churches, from endorsing or campaigning against candidates in an election.
Facing the possible loss of his church’s tax-exempt status, Bacon said he plans to inform his roughly 3,500 active congregants about the investigation during Sunday’s services. Then he plans to seek their advice on whether to comply.
“There is a lot at stake here,” Bacon said in an interview. “If the IRS prevails, it will have a chilling effect on the practice of religion in America.”
In July, the IRS warned 15,000 tax-exempt groups across the nation, including churches and nonprofit organizations, to stay neutral on politics.
At the time, IRS officials said the agency also began expediting investigations into charges of improper campaigning under a new enforcement program, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative. Under it, the IRS will no longer wait for an annual tax return to be filed or for the tax year to end before investigating allegations of wrongful campaigning.
Since 2004, the IRS has investigated more than 200 organizations nationwide.
I saw W. being interviewed on CNN this morning ahead of the opening of his presidential library later today. The dude was so nonchalant; he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Meh, history will be the judge.”
You got that right George.
Folks, we’re dragging the s*it he did along like a ball and chain and it’s going to be a long, looong time before we’re free of those shackles. Take a look:
It Will Take Decades To Recover From The Bush Disaster
$2.2 trillion and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of deaths later, this is what happened in Iraq today:
BAGHDAD – Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Sunday to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to the beleaguered Syrian regime, but found him unwilling to give ground.
Here’s a report by CNN’s Arwa Damon on what life is like in Iraq today, ten years after the U.S. invasion. Donald Rumsfeld should watch it, given his delusional tweet Tuesday about “liberating” Iraqis.
Wow. Very powerful:
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
A certifiably insane Donald Rumsfeld sent this tweet out yesterday on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the invasion of Iraq:
Ugh, just, I mean, unbelievable.
Ten years ago. From CNN:
Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush
DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) –There are a lot worse things in country music than your wife leaving you or your dog dying. There’s stations not playing your music because you done gone and said some things against the president.
Music superstars the Dixie Chicks are finding out that criticizing President Bush’s plans for war in Iraq can cost you air play, big time.
Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Love how CNN tossed its journalist cred and signaled it was on Bush’s side when it titled its article, “Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush.” Bashing Bush? Really?
That’s how insane we were. Bush & Co. said mushroom clouds were on the way and when the Dixie Chicks saw through that, as so many of us did, and said they were “ashamed,” CNN said they were “bashing” Bush when they should have been questioning him too.
Such bad memories.
I’ve read a couple blurbs today about how the American public “just doesn’t want to remember the Iraq war” and I’m kind of in that camp. It’s so upsetting. We went insane, lead by our still-crappy, sheep-like, stenographic, Washington-centric, corporate-owned media.
Sadly, all signs point to it being able to happen again.
I don’t know what to say on this, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I was against the war before it began and I’ve been against it ever since. I thought we were being lied to all along and it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.
So much misery.
In my opinion the invasion was one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever seen.
(It’s indicative of the fantasyland George Bush lived in when we’re reminded that Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech six weeks — SIX WEEKS — after the March 19, 2003 invasion. (The war officially ended on December 15, 2011).)
William Rivers Pitt, a real journalist — we need a thousand more like him — on the run up to the Iraq war:
Over the last few years, MSNBC refashioned itself as the progressive news alternative to networks like Fox and CNN by giving Keith Olbermann an opportunity to do actual journalism on television for a few years, and by putting people like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz front and center. Even Chris Matthews, the human weathervane, appears to have gotten the memo. But I remember a phone call I got from an MSNBC producer in February of 2003. Hans Blix and his weapons inspectors had not been in Iraq for 100 hours when this woman called me on my cell, told me she’d read my book, and asked me to appear on the network. There was, however, one caveat: she told me I was expected to argue that Blix and the inspectors were doing a terrible job and should be ignored, which just happened to be the exact line being peddled at the time by the Bush administration. I told the producer that I did not agree, that the inspectors needed to be given time to do their jobs, and that undermining them might lead to a devastating war. The MSNBC producer chuffed a cigarette-roughened laugh into my phone and hung up on me.
That happened – I remember the details not only because of how gruesome the conversation was, but because when she hung up on me, I almost lost control of my car and nearly wound up in the Charles River – and the fact of it tells you everything you need to know about MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet-soup cohort that is America’s “mainstream” news media. I did not do what that MSNBC producer asked me to, but you can bet all the money you have that she found someone who would a few phone calls later. You might have even seen it on TV.
The war against Iraq, in the end, was nothing more or less than a massive money-laundering operation that took American taxpayer dollars, soaked them in blood, and redirected them to Certain Friends In High Places. It was, as I said years ago, a smash-and-grab robbery[*] writ large, aided and abetted by an American “news” media which had its own profit motive, and which made a nifty sum off the whole deal. Even better for them, today they get to enjoy the ratings and advertising dollars to come when they broadcast their somber “documentaries” about how terrible it all was, how many lies were told, how many mistakes were made, and all without ever looking inward at their own enormous complicity.
* Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, the Carlyle Group, independent military contractors like Blackwater and a crowd of American oil companies are still counting the riches they earned from their participation in the carnage.
I’m proud to say I was one of the millions of people around the world who demonstrated (more than once) against the war. It has turned out pretty much exactly as I feared.
Ten years ago today I was part of the largest protest in human history when I marched against the war on Iraq:
On February 15, millions of people protested, in approximately 800 cities around the world. Listed by the 2004 Guinness Book of Records as the largest protest in human history, protests occurred among others in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Syria, India, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and even McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
15 million people and George W. Bush blew them off, calling them a “focus group.”
So what is W. doing these days, four years after he left office? Building homes for Habitat for Humanity? Trying to convince the world to do something about climate change? No. He’s painting bizarre pictures of himself in a bathtub and a shower:
Oh man. He’s fucked up. And just think, he was once the most powerful man on the planet.