Fox – Fair and Balanced – Seriously

Far left manifesto Daily Kos beat me to the punch with the headline “Pigs Fly – Megyn Kelly Slams Cheney”.

I was sitting away from the TV when I thought I heard Fox’s Megyn Kelly ask blowhard ex VP Dick Cheney the question any self respecting journalist would have asked him but lacked the guts to. But it could not be. This was Fox, the network that single handedly powers the mechanical heart of Darth Cheney. I had to see it with my own eyes.

Alas, it was true. Dick Cheney, the heartless Tin Man to Bush’s brainless Scarecrow, got his ass handed to him just when he thought he was in his safe place. Since 2009, Bush ’43 has shown nothing but class. It might be modesty about his self-perceived accomplishments or shame about his obvious failures. It matters not. Bush has been a true patriot, honoring the Presidency, if not Obama, with his silence.

The same cannot be said for Dick Cheney, one of the architects of the most expensive and deadly boondoggles in recent history. The man just can’t shut up. His latest pronouncement about Obama in the Wall Street Journal topped all previous examples of arrogant self delusion.

Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

Megyn Kelly threw his words back in his face, confirming what every honest American already knew.

But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there were no doubts Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005. And you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, ‘rethink their strategy of Jihad.’ Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say, you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?

Cheney’s answers to Kelly were predictable and not worth inclusion here. Suffice it to say he is unable to accept responsibility for the grave injury he inflicted on his country. The phrase found in much of the coverage of his Op-Ed is “unmitigated gall”.

The bottom line is that in a fifteen minute interview Megyn Kelly transformed Fox News from partisan hackery to serious journalism. She also laid to shame every other network without the balls to put Cheney in his place – to his face.

There are those who say Cheney and his merry band of neo-cons from the dawn of this century shouldn’t even be allowed to spew their bullcrap on TV. I disagree. Bring them on and let’s have more folks like Megyn Kelly expose them for the dangerous fools they are.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

For the full Kelly video and more Fox commentary go here.

Food for Despots

178px-_Be_Smart_Act_Dumb__-_NARA_-_514912Despots thrive on ignorance. After watching US foreign policy for the past 10 or so years, it is not too far-fetched to say that people get the government they deserve. We have learned this lesson time and time again. First we thought we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. Then we moved from anti-terrorism to nation building in Afghanistan. Then we cheered on the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya. In all cases we have discovered that the country post-despot is far more dysfunctional than the country under the despot.  This may sound callous bordering on bigotry but some countries are so full of ignorant people, incapable of self-government that they need a strong-arm to keep things in order. I believe the jury is out on whether the world is better off without Hussein, Mubarek and Gaddafi. Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention knows that Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai is a bad joke. And now what are we doing? We are seriously contemplating a contribution to the demise of Syria’s Assad with zero knowledge of what will follow his departure.

Is the lesson this teaches us here at home limited to foreign policy? No it isn’t. A smart electorate can become a dumb electorate. Dumb people get leaders who end up not acting in their best interests. Dumb people end up losing their freedom. I argue we are becoming a dumb people and I say this in a totally bipartisan way.

In the past week I have watched several exchanges on television that left me very unnerved. Bill Moyers interviewed Glenn Greenwald a journalist who has written about the Obama administration’s crackdown on whistle blowers. The government tactics range from intimidation to criminal prosecution. According to Greenwald, more whistle blowers have been harassed by this administration than any other administration combined. Recent developments suggest that those offering evidence on the Benghazi terrorist attack of 9/11/12 that was contrary to the government account were being shut down. I have spent some time on this blog and in the comments section defending Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi affair but when a mainstream show like “Face the Nation” this morning reports that the administration knowingly lied or distorted the facts about Benghazi how can there be any more defense? In fact, we risked endangering our relationship with the new President of Libya by essentially calling him a liar when he said the attack on the embassy was planned.

Then a few nights later a PBS “Frontline” report talked about America post-9/11 and painted a picture of a government shrouded in secrecy doing things in “America’s best interest” without their permission. This policy was passed on to the Obama administration and expanded by him. Billions of our e-mails are read every day by folks employed in Homeland Security.

Later in the week HBO’s Bill Maher interviewed Jeremy Scahill, a reporter whose eyes burn with anger when he recounts how we brazenly killed the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki simply for being the son of a terrorist instigator. Press Secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, reportedly said this is what happens when your Dad does bad things. Scahill seems to be alone while most liberals turn a blind eye to a liberal administration flushing liberal ideals down the toilet.  Scahill went on to discuss the near indiscriminate killing of Afghan civilians by our special ops forces. As Scahill puts it, if someone steals your goat, you can report them to the Americans as a suspected terrorist and our special ops team will storm their house and kill everyone in it.

Later on that same broadcast an argument broke out, so brief that if you blinked you missed it. Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC uber-liberal, flew off the handle when conservative guest Pete Hegseth launched the old 2nd Amendment defense of an electorate needing to protect itself from government tyranny. O’Donnell said what I have been saying for years … and very recently in the comments section of this very blog, namely that the time for us to be worried about government tyranny is long past. Our well oiled democracy has built-in safeguards that ensure government tyranny would never happen. Along with that is the ironic and contradictory side argument that all of our US militias would never be a match against a government armed with drones and nukes — that same government that would never resort to tyranny. Essentially “they would never be tyrants but if they were you’d be no match for them.”

Well, I’m no longer so sure O’Donnell is right. We saw a militarization in Boston a few weeks ago that should give us all pause. When asked if America would ever drone strike its own people, Attorney General Eric Holder’s initial response was a hypothetical yes. He only backed off after an old-fashioned filibuster by Senator Rand Paul focused attention on it. Combine this with the other stories I watched this week, and we no longer have the liberal ideal of America that I vote for every four years.

But beyond all that, we have a conservative populace with a sizable number of folks who still don’t believe Barack Obama was born in America and a liberal populace too ignorant to understand that universal background checks (which I support) would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy of Sandy Hook. We are, as a nation, getting dumber and dumber. If we don’t turn this around, we will wake up one morning and not recognize the America in which we live. Our ignorance will be the food that one day nourishes a true despot.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Poster from National Archives

 

It’s Now Time for Bush Vindication

I’ve spent some of tonight watching the live coverage of our last combat troops leaving Iraq. Of course, we are leaving about 50,000 soldiers there (“military consultants” … kinda reminds me of the “military adviser” jargon in the early days of Vietnam) but I can accept that. It’s an acknowledgment that terrorism is still a problem there and some anti-terrorist presence is called for.

I didn’t like this war. Many didn’t. Iraq is still far from ideal. However, we’ve got some indisputable facts to celebrate tonight. First, the “surge” turned things around. It did not achieve its stated goal of giving the Iraqi government breathing room to clean up their act. The government is still shaky at best. But the mere increase in troops smacked down the enemy and allowed Iraqi forces to get a bit better at protecting their own. Without the surge, we wouldn’t be able to leave today.

Second, working with the Iraqi government, Bush committed to get us out of there. He agreed to a timetable of sorts, one which Barack Obama has made good on. One might go so far as to say Bush fought the wrong war the right way.

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So now we wait and see what happens next. If in the next five to ten years Iraq emerges as a democracy it will be a grand victory directly traceable to George W. Bush. We will probably all acknowledge that the false pretense that got us into the war mattered less than the outcome, a democracy in a region badly in need of democracy.

I would hate to think the past seven years were a complete waste. So let’s hope that Iraq can keep its act together. And regardless of what happens, let’s pause to welcome our troops back home and honor the memory of those who were not so lucky to see this day of withdrawal.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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