While Blair offers ersatz apology for Iraq War, Bush offers none at all


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In the coming weeks, the U.K. is certain to be rocked by the Chilcot Inquiry, the years-overdue investigation into the planning, marketing, and execution of the Iraq War under former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair.
That timing explains the preventive public relations war Blair launched over the past week to soften the coming blows. On the airwaves and in the op-ed pages, the mastermind of New Labor repackaged some old apologies to defend—not atone for—his decision to join U.S. President George W. Bush in ousting Saddam Hussein. Acknowledging that there are “elements of truth” to the well-documented history that the invasion and occupation of Iraq fueled the rise of ISIS, Blair nevertheless countered that, “I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam.” Speaking to Fareed Zakaria of CNN, Blair made the historical strategic catastrophe for his country and ours sound like an ill-timed

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Jeb! Bush gushes over George W.’s ‘case study of leadership’


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U.S. President George W. Bush (L) greets his brother, outgoing Florida Governor Jeb Bush, at a Republican Party congressional mid-term election campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, November 6, 2006. Bush is campaigning for Republican party Congressional

The brothers Bush in 2006.

For those who don’t remember George W. Bush’s presidency as a warm, wonderful time, his little brother Jeb! is here to set us straight.

“The case study of leadership is how George responded to 9/11, period, over and out,” Jeb told the audience of some 175 donors and supporters who gathered in a ballroom at a Houston hotel, according to a pool report.
“And the idea that a candidate could think that they could make political hay to create a new … narrative on the reality on how he led is a joke,” Bush said. […]

“How he responded to 9/11,” Jeb Bush said of his brother, “was just awe-inspiring.  

“People were united. And people really got it that he had a heart for them,” Bush added. “At that time, as you know, kids were crying. All around people, children and grandchildren didn’t

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Jeb! Bush whines about campaigning while his family rallies the donors


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Former President George H.W. Bush, U.S. President George W. Bush, and Governor Jeb Bush, leave together after the christening ceremony of the USS George H.W. Bush at Northrop-Grumman's shipyard in Newport News, Virginia October 7, 2006. The Navy's Nimitz-

The Bush family is trying to put Jeb at the center of the picture for a while, but it’s not going so well.

The Bush family spent the weekend holding a pep rally for Jeb!’s big-money donors, but under the circumstances it was less about pep than about hand-holding and soothing fears:

“Having 41 around helps take the edge off, but we all read the same newspapers and look at the same polls and it’s tough right now. There are a lot of people we thought would have written checks who aren’t on board yet,” one donor said. “In some ways, it’s reassuring being here and looking around seeing that there’s still a lot of support for Jeb.”

But on the very same weekend daddy, mommy, and big brother were glad-handing to allay donor fears, the candidate was raising questions about whether he really wants to lead

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Jeb Bush’s brother George unloads on Ted Cruz: ‘I just don’t like the guy’


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George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, 2006.

Bringin’ out the big guns.

Stand back. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is feeling desperate enough to unleash the force of nature that is his brother, The Worst Modern President, as possibly-just-roused-from-a-nap campaign attack dog. And George W. Bush does not like Jeb opponent Ted Cruz one bit.

“I just don’t like the guy,” Bush said Sunday night, according to conversations with more than half a dozen donors who attended the event. […]
“The tenor of what he said about the other candidates was really pretty pleasant,” another donor said. “Until he got to Cruz.”

George W. Bush was having a perfectly satisfactory retirement, painting pictures of dogs and feet and Vladimir Putin. But along comes Ted Cruz, and of all the things anyone ever got angry with Ted Cruz about, Dubya’s reason is the oddest. No, it’s not that Ted Cruz is a thorn in the side

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Claims that Jeb’s brother ‘kept us safe?’ Bring ’em on.


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During the 2012 Republican National Convention, Jeb Bush proclaimed of his brother George, “He is a man of integrity, courage, and honor, and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe.” In the face of the inconvenient truth that Dubya presided over the slaughter of 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil on 9/11, deadly anthrax and ricin attacks, and the needless Iraq war that killed 4,500 American soldiers, wounded 30,000 more, converted Baghdad into an Iranian satellite and birthed ISIS, Jeb hasn’t stopped making the “he kept us safe” claims since.
But of all the national security failures that made headlines during Bush 43’s watch, one that didn’t is among the most heartbreaking of all. As a grieving Mary Kewatt told Minnesota Public Radio in summer 2003:

“We have some issues with the fact that President Bush declared combat over on May 1. Combat is not over. We

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Which Republican would you least hate to see win the White House next year?


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Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Texas Gov. George W. Bush points jokes with a photographer before debating five of his Republican presidential rivals at the University of New Hampshire in Durham January 6. - RTXJFS9

No one would have picked this guy

It’s the nightmare scenario: Democrats fall short on November 8 next year and the GOP’s presidential nominee prepares to take office for a four-year term in the White House. It’s something no progressive wants to even contemplate, which of course is why we’re going to spend all of 2016 fighting like hell to make sure it doesn’t happen.
But hey, just out of curiosity—and you can call it an exercise in alternate history, an exploration of the “darkest timeline“—let’s say it does happen. In that case, which Republican candidate would you least hate to see in the Oval Office? You can take our poll below, though we’re only including candidates currently polling at least 1 percent nationally.

Then, when we’re done shuddering, let’s get back to work kicking some GOP behinds!

Team Jeb claims Dubya ‘inherited’ 9/11 and recession


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The Republicans' Magic Calendar.

Stung by Donald Trump’s self-evident truth that history did not begin on September 12, 2001 and end at noon on January 20, 2009, Jeb Bush asked, “Does anybody actually blame my brother for 9/11?” As it turns out, this is hardly the first time the former Florida governor complained about the unkindness the calendar has shown his brother. In August 2012, Jeb declared it was “unbecoming” for Barack Obama to continue to “blame others” for the economic calamity he inherited from George W., and went so far as to suggest the president should be “spanked” for pointing the finger at his brother. And in April 2009—just weeks after Obama entered the Oval Office in the midst of the greatest American economic calamity since the Great Depression—Jeb protested:

“If I had one humble criticism of President Obama, it would be to stop this notion of somehow framing

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Jeb! Bush flails wildly on 9/11 vs. Benghazi


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush pauses while answering a question from the audience during a campaign town hall meeting in Salem, New Hampshire, September 10, 2015.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTSJRC

Jeb! Bush did not do well Sunday when CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted him with a little tiny flaw in his logic, asking “how do you respond to critics who ask, if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility [for 9/11] at all, at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?” Let’s go to the transcript for Jeb’s unabridged awkwardness:

BUSH: Well, I — it’s — the question on then Benghazi, which is — hopefully we’ll now finally get the truth to, is, was that — was the — was the place secure? They had a responsibility, the Department of State, to have proper security.
There were calls for security. It looks like they didn’t get it. And how was the response in the aftermath of the attack? Was there a chance that these four

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Jeb! Bush leans hard on the word ‘after’ in 9/11 argument with Donald Trump


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Republican U.S. presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump (L) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talk simultaneously during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan

Donald Trump and Jeb! Bush are arguing about 9/11 and George W. Bush’s presidency, and of course it’s incredibly stupid on both sides. Trump kinda sorta makes sense while on the direct attack:

“Jeb [Bush] said ‘We were safe with my brother. We were safe.’ Well, the World Trade Center just went down. Now, am I trying to blame him? I’m not blaming anybody, but the World Trade Center came down, so when he said we were safe, we were not safe. We lost 3,000 people. It was one of the greatest — probably the greatest catastrophe ever in this country,” the Republican presidential hopeful said.

But then he gets into how 9/11 wouldn’t have happened on his watch on account of how “I am extremely, extremely tough on people coming into this country,” and—yeah. For his part, Jeb! continues to insist that the only thing that matters about

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The comical cult of Paul Ryan


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Not since LeBron James announced “The Decision” to “take my talents to South Beach” have so many Americans waited with bated breath for one man to declare his intentions. Hoping for white smoke from the chimney of his Jaynesville, Wisconsin home, most Republicans and even some Democrats are hoping that Paul Ryan will decide to run for Speaker of the House of Representatives and thus save the GOP from itself.
While Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate and current House Ways and Means Committee chairman remains huddled with family in his Badger State conclave, politicians and pundits sing Paul Ryan’s praises in almost hagiographic terms. Josh Marshall noted that “a defining principle of modern Republican ideology is that ‘Paul Ryan is awesome.'” Jonathan Chait argued that Ryan “is already the president of Republican America” because “no other figure within the party combines Ryan’s philosophical radicalism and tactical pragmatism.” While

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McConnell, Boehner can end GOP’s debt ceiling crisis with same clean bill they gave Bush


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Current GOP leaders gave Bush

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that the federal government will run out of cash on November unless Congress raises the debt ceiling to increase Uncle Sam’s borrowing authority. Under pressure from hard liners in his own party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is returning to his role as hostage-taker, threatening to block the debt limit hike unless President Obama agrees to cuts in Medicare and Social Security spending. But a default by the United States, as outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) first warned in 2011, “would be a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy.”
Which is why Boehner and McConnell should simply do for President Obama what they did for President Bush. In November 2004, they gave Bush a “clean,” $800 billion boost in the debt ceiling with no strings attached. With the current annual budget deficits at an eight-year

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McConnell, Boehner can end GOP’s debt ceiling crisis with same clean bill they gave Bush


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Current GOP leaders gave Bush

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that the federal government will run out of cash on November unless Congress raises the debt ceiling to increase Uncle Sam’s borrowing authority. Under pressure from hard liners in his own party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is returning to his role as hostage-taker, threatening to block the debt limit hike unless President Obama agrees to cuts in Medicare and Social Security spending. But a default by the United States, as outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) first warned in 2011, “would be a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy.”
Which is why Boehner and McConnell should simply do for President Obama what they did for President Bush. In November 2004, they gave Bush a “clean,” $800 billion boost in the debt ceiling with no strings attached. With the current annual budget deficits at an eight-year

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The GOP’s 15 other Benghazi talking points for Hillary Clinton


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On October 22, 2016, Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The supposed scandal has already claimed one scalp—just not hers. Would-have-been House Speaker Kevin McCarthy abandoned his campaign for the gavel after providing Clinton and the Democrats with a talking point that exposed the sham that is the entire Republican witch hunt:

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today?”

To be sure, McCarthy’s Kinsley gaffe (the kind in which “a politician tells the truth”) presents a real problem for Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his laughable claim that “this investigation has never been about her and never will be.” After all, his is the eighth probe into the tragic September 11, 2012 killings of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three

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Jeb! Bush weighs the advantages of having his big brother on the trail


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, 2006.

Jeb! Bush is lighting a few fires on the campaign trail, so few that he’s considering courting disaster by bringing his big brother—the worst president in our nation’s history—into South Carolina where apparently the last people who love George W. Bush reside.

But the question of how to use the candidate’s older brother is an agonizing one for the campaign. While dispatching George Bush to a state like South Carolina could shore up his brother’s standing with conservatives, and remind voters there of a political family they still admire, it could also underscore the impression that Jeb Bush is simply a legacy candidate at a time when voters are itching for change.
What is more, given the former president’s unpopularity among many in the broader electorate, joint appearances by the brothers could provide irresistible footage for Democratic attacks against Jeb Bush if he wins the Republican nomination. The continued instability

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Let’s not pretend Carson and Trump’s anti-Muslim words don’t represent the GOP


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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Republican U.S. presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson (L) and businessman Donald Trump talk during a commercial break at the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United States, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS1HUL

Ben Carson’s anti-Muslim comments have given Republicans a chance to look good by distancing themselves from him, with the cooperation of many in the media. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham and others do deserve credit for rejecting an unconstitutional religious test for the presidency, but let’s not get carried away here.
Yes, the New York Times can reasonably point to moments in which George W. Bush referred to “the peaceful teachings of Islam” or John McCain rejected a supporter’s characterization of President Obama as “an Arab.” But are those moments the ones that define the tenor of the Republican attitude toward Islam? Not hardly.

A Pew survey last year asking individuals to rate, from 1 to 100, their feelings about religious groups found that Muslims only averaged 33 percent among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters — far below other faiths. […]
But concern about Islam extends more broadly on

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Is Jeb! suddenly interested in cozying up to the family legacy?


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


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George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, 2006.

You think they noticed all those casualties?

Jeb!—who hasn’t managed to distinguish himself in any way on the campaign trail except through his flagging poll numbers—seems to have gotten his swagger back after uttering four of the potentially most revisionist words in history at last week’s debate: “He kept us safe.”

“He,” of course, refers to Jeb!’s brother, W. The sentiment is delusional, but when you’re stuck in single digits, you have no intrinsic charisma, and you continually serve up gaffes on questions that should be gimmes, why not cling to your brother? At least W. made an impression. So Jeb! and his crack political team are going there, reports Ed O’Keefe:

“I know how to do this because, yes, I am a Bush,” he told the crowd. “I happened to see two really good presidents develop relationships with other countries.” […]
The day after

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Jeb! Bush pouts over ad poking holes in his ‘my brother … kept us safe’ schtick


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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at a campaign town hall meeting in Salem, New Hampshire September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTSJR6

Jeb! Bush has a sad over a television ad that dares question his assertion that his brother George W. “kept us safe.” But he can’t just be sad—he also has to be dishonest about the ad’s source, tweeting at Hillary Clinton that “Your political machine’s 9/11 ad is disgraceful. As a New Yorker you know the leadership my brother provided after 9/11.”

The “after” in that sentence is funny, since Jeb’s whole “he kept us safe” schtick is based on the idea that 9/11 shouldn’t in any way count against his brother’s record of actually keeping us safe. But the ad also points out little things like economic devastation, the botched response to Hurricane Katrina, and, of course, the human cost of a war of choice. (Video below the fold.)

Here’s another funny thing: Americans United for Change, the group that put out the ad, dates to

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Only certainties for GOP: Debt and tax cuts


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Some things never change. With some constants in life, like the invariable force of gravity or the sun rising in the east, that persistence is good news. (Imagine your morning coffee without them.)  The bad news is that some myths, no matter how dangerous or thoroughly debunked, never seem to die.
This week, the greatest Republican zombie lie of them all—that tax cuts virtually pay for themselves—was once again exhumed for the American people. Combined with his yet-to-be revealed plans for education reform and deregulation, Jeb Bush promised his new tax cut scheme “will unleash increased investment, higher wages and sustained 4 percent economic growth, while reducing the deficit.” Unfortunately, the past 35 years show that every GOP president and would-be president since Ronald Reagan—including Jeb’s brother George—failed to produce either an explosion of economic growth or bulging coffers for the U.S. Treasury. Instead, like the Gipper

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When will the media demand that Dick Cheney apologize?


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Aug. 6, 2001 PDB

August 6, 2001 PDB (Wikimedia Commons)

Dick Cheney has been back in the news again, pushing another book, still trying to convince himself that his perpetual sidekick daughter has a career, and trying to undermine prospects for peace in the Middle East. Of course, he’s also still working hard to convince people that after lying the U.S. into a war against a country that had never attacked and had no means to attack, and having disastrously lost that war, the continuing and expanding crisis engendered by those lies and that disastrous failure is somehow his successor administration’s fault. Still the same old Dick.

But the media continue to give him public platforms to spew his bile, and in the aftermath of their having hounded Hillary Clinton into apologizing for the big nothing of having had a private email server, it makes one wonder why they never ask him

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When will the media demand that Dick Cheney apologize?


This post is by Jed Lewison from Daily Kos


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Aug. 6, 2001 PDB

August 6, 2001 PDB (Wikimedia Commons)

Dick Cheney has been back in the news again, pushing another book, still trying to convince himself that his perpetual sidekick daughter has a career, and trying to undermine prospects for peace in the Middle East. Of course, he’s also still working hard to convince people that after lying the U.S. into a war against a country that had never attacked and had no means to attack, and having disastrously lost that war, the continuing and expanding crisis engendered by those lies and that disastrous failure is somehow his successor administration’s fault. Still the same old Dick.

But the media continue to give him public platforms to spew his bile, and in the aftermath of their having hounded Hillary Clinton into apologizing for the big nothing of having had a private email server, it makes one wonder why they never ask him

Continue reading “When will the media demand that Dick Cheney apologize?”