Updates To Some Recent Posts

McSame’s Mock Obama Strategy Under the direction of John McSame‘s new Rovian campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, the attacks against Obama’s character have become so vituperative that even long-time McSame supporters like Mike Murphy and Mike Weaver are crying foul, (or at least, lame). Not only because they are damaging his brand as someone who eschews personal attacks, but because he is now telling outright lies about his opponent’s actions, like not visiting wounded troops in Iraq without camera (per NBC‘s Andrea Mitchell) and policy positions like income taxes (saying Obama plans to increase taxes of people earning over $42k) and oil drilling.

While these new tactics reek of desperation, and are thus accepted by some Obama supporters as good news, there’s a method to Schmidt’s madness that reveals a far darker and more sophisticated propaganda effort at work.

In conjunction with their attempt to define Obama as an exotic elitist, out of touch with less privileged Americans, Schmidt and his cohorts are busily creating a strawman upon which to train the anger of the electorate instead of the slime who’ve spent the last eight years undermining their economic security.

I’ll be writing more soon on the psychological dynamics involved, in my review of Dr. Bryant Welch‘s new book State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind. Suffice it to say that Dr. Welch (interviewed on Ian Master‘s show yesterday) predicts that Obama has two weeks to mount a full-fledged counter-attack before this characterization-transference dynamic becomes irreparably hooked into the lizard brains of the average American voter.

He might start with pointing out that his wife Michelle isn’t a wealthy heiress with a Gulfstream 4 ready at a moment’s notice to fly them to any one of their eight fifteen posh residences to host another press baiting Bar-B-Q.

Wrecking the Economy The New York Times leads today with an editorial titled The Darker Outlook at Fannie and Freddie. Noting that “the companies reported even worse-than-expected quarterly results and more pain to come,” and that “shareholder value has been destroyed” (hear that, pension planners?), the two GSEs have become the poster children of the Bush Administration‘s economic philosophy of unregulated corporate greed.

Notwithstanding the moral hazard of using taxpayer dollars to bail out “too big to fail” financial institutions (including most recently, Bear Sterns), looks like that’s what’s going to happen. Heck, what’s another few trillion dollars of US debt to dump on the backs of our children’s children’s children.

Once again our current generation of plutocrat robber barons have succeeded in privatizing their profits and socializing their losses. Who says the government is broken, anyway? Works for them.

The Surge Is Not A Success Crooks and Liars reports that:

A Guardian journalist returns home to Iraq to find that far from what we hear in the US, the surge has produced nothing approaching normalcy or peace, but rather ghettos seething with violence, with nothing but makeshift walls dividing the increasingly hostile warring factions.

US claims that the military surge is bringing stability to Iraq. By traveling through the heart of Baghdad its easy to see by enclosing the Sunni and Shia populations behind 12 ft walls, the surge has left the city more divided and desperate than ever.”

Check out parts 2 & 3 of this amazing report. It’s undoubtedly the most realistic and candid view of Iraq you will ever see

Iraqis Crap On Bush’s SOFA Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is insisting on a definite timeline for US withdrawal, the third such high ranking Iraq offiical to do so. (Zebari is a Kurd, significant because the Kurds heretofore have been the most supportive of a sustained US presence as a hedge against Shi’ite power grabbing.) From the Associated Press comes this:

Iraq demands ‘clear timeline’ for US withdrawal

By ROBERT H. REID, Sunday Aug 10, 2008

BAGHDAD Iraq’s foreign minister insisted Sunday that any security deal with the United States must contain a “very clear timeline” for the departure of U.S. troops…

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters that American and Iraqi negotiators were “very close” to reaching a long-term security agreement that will set the rules for U.S. troops in Iraq after the U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year….

Differences over a withdrawal timetable have become one of the most contentious issues remaining in the talks, which began early this year. U.S. and Iraqi negotiators missed a July 31 target date for completing the deal, which must be approved by Iraq’s parliament….

Take that, neocon fools. Not only is your dream of remaking the Middle East in your own distorted image by creating permanent US military bases in Iraq failing, but your windmill tilting plan to create a Milton Friedman laissez faire capitalist paradise in Iraq is experiencing a similar fate, what with nearly 40% of all employment there being government jobs, much like it was under Saddam.

It should be noted that John “I know how to win wars, my friends” McSame attacked Obama for even proposing the idea of a timetable. From a 7/21/08 interview on NBC’s Today Show:

Meredith Vieira: Senator Obama’s timetable of removing U.S. troops from Iraq within that 16 month period seemed to be getting a thumbs up by the Iraqi prime minister when he called it ‘the right timeframe for a withdrawal.’ He has backed off that somewhat, but the Iraqis have not stopped using the word timetable, so if the Iraqi government were to say — if you were President — we want a timetable for troops being to removed, would you agree with that?

John McCain: I have been there too many times. I’ve met too many times with him, and I know what they want. They want it based on conditions and of course they would like to have us out, that’s what happens when you win wars, you leave. We may have a residual presence there as even Senator Obama has admitted. But the fact is that it should be — the agreement between Prime Minister Maliki, the Iraqi government and the United states is it will be based on conditions. This is a great success, but it’s fragile, and could be reversed very easily. I think we should trust the word of General Petraeus who has orchestrated this dramatic turnaround.

Sorry, John, but I’m not about to take the word of a careerist Four-Star for anything at this stage.

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