Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Morning News Roundup (01 November)

Distractions
  • When everything else is turning to shit, Turd Blossom calls a misdirection play (via Salon's War Room):
    Kerry said that he "botched" a "joke" when he said Monday that "if you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well," but that if you don't "you get stuck in Iraq." But he insisted that the White House and its Republican allies knew full well what he meant: Not that members of the U.S. military are stupid or uneducated, but that the president and his people might be.

  • With Drudge and the rest of the Right Wing Noise Machine going on a feeding frenzy over this quote, here's Josh Marshall with a reminder:
    But it's important not to foget one thing. John Kerry isn't the Democratic party. And this election isn't about John Kerry. It's about Iraq. It's about the man who's actually president, the man whose policies have led to the disaster the country is facing. George W. Bush.

    This whole national drama we're involved in is about the president's continued refusal to accept responsibility, or more properly speaking, accountability for anything. He wants the policies and politics of the country to proceed along as if his policies hadn't already led us into disaster after disaster. That's what this election is about, not the 2004 election or anything else.

    Everything that's not about that is a distraction.

    I wonder if there's anything the American public needs to be distracted from...


BushCo's Wars
  • A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict. A one-page slide shown at the Oct. 18 briefing provides a rare glimpse into how the military command that oversees the war is trying to track its trajectory, particularly in terms of sectarian fighting.
    [...]
    The conclusions the Central Command has drawn from these trends are not encouraging, according to a copy of the slide that was obtained by The New York Times. The slide shows Iraq as moving sharply away from “peace,” an ideal on the far left side of the chart, to a point much closer to the right side of the spectrum, a red zone marked “chaos.” As depicted in the command’s chart, the needle has been moving steadily toward the far right of the chart. [news]

    nytimes-iraqconflict-presentation.jpg

  • Sunni Arab guerrillas near Tikrit north of Baghdad set up checkpoints, stopped minivans, and asked the passengers if they were from Shiite villages such as Balad. When the answer was yes, they kidnapped 42 persons. [Juan Cole's Informed Comment]

  • Raw Story posts a summary of a CBS News report (in video below) that paints a bleak picture:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki is telling his inner circle that the situation in Iraq is "nearly out of control," according to CBS News intelligence sources.

    Pentagon sources tell the network that General Casey will require 100,000 more Iraqi troops than the 325,000 who were to be trained in order to secure the nation. The security situation, however, has worsened and Iraqi troops have proven to be less effective than their American counterparts.




Domestic Potpourri
  • In the midterm election four years ago, Bush swept through red and blue states in the final week of the campaign, producing Republican victories in places as disparate as Minnesota and Georgia. This year he has been forced by circumstance to pick his spots more carefully, focusing on areas where sympathy for his presidency is greater and opposition to the Iraq war less intense.
    [...]
    Republican candidates have welcomed the president in their districts to help raise money for their campaigns, but they have run from him in their television ads. According to officials at the Republican House and Senate campaign committees, just one GOP candidate is using the president in a television commercial, LaVar Christensen in Utah's 2nd District. [WaPo]


Big Blue Marble
  • At least 23 people were killed and more than 100,000 evacuated from their homes as heavy rains and strong winds lashed Andhra Pradesh state in southern India on Wednesday for the third straight day, officials said.

    Cyclonic storm Ogni had hovered over the Bay of Bengal for two days before hitting the mainland on Monday, where it flooded towns and villages and cut power supplies leaving thousands of households in darkness. [Reuters]

  • More than 15,000 Pakistani tribesmen, many of them carrying rifles and ammunition, protested Tuesday over a Pakistani army helicopter attack on an al-Qaeda-linked religious school near here that killed about 80 suspected radicals.

    Chants of "Down with America" and "Down with Musharraf," referring to Pakistan's president, rang out as the tribesmen protested in Khar, main town in the Bajaur tribal region close to the Afghan border. [WaPo]

  • The lives of Afghanistan's women have changed little five years after the fall of the Taliban, according to a new report by a UK-based women's rights group.

    Womankind Worldwide found violence against women is still endemic - and the number of women setting fire to themselves because they cannot bear their lives is rising dramatically.

    The iconic images of women throwing off their burqas after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 were always a fiction. Except among a small elite in Kabul, the overwhelming majority of women in Afghanistan are still forced to cover their entire bodies and faces. [The Independent]

And one more thing... the latest Sutton Impact from the Village Voice:

Sutton Impact @ Village Voice

Well, and one last thing... Tapped suggests that the media follow ABC News' Mark Halperin's rule of balance (in which everything comes down to a left/right, he said/she said story, even when the consenting view is a lie):

[E]very news item about John Kerry's hamfisted way with humor should be followed by a sentence something like this: "This is not the first time an important politician has been caught in what observers say is an act of disrespect for our troops." Which would then be followed by a description (in print) or the actual footage (on TV) of this.



[ posted with ecto ]


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