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News for Dummies

Posted on Jul 3, 2008

This election cycle has seen no shortage of inane non-scandals and mock outrage, but the dimwitted fracas over Gen. Wesley Clark’s comments is a particularly grievous example. With Fox News leading the way, the cable channels have been competing to see who can get it wrong the loudest.



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By rcpmac, July 8, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

By troublesum, July 3 at 3:01 pm #
Anybody remember a guy named Max Cleland?  Where was the outrage then?


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By Ed, July 8, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

... and that’s why The U.S. keeps electing half-wits.

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By Marc Schlee, July 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John McCain is alleged to have COLLABORATED with his VC captors in order to get better treatment while he was in captivity.

Spread the word…



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By Guy Fawkes, July 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I don’t know about your comment ...“military service is not and ought not to be a qualification for being president…”  It seemed to work well for George Washington.  Or is he what you would consider a “red-faced, foul-mouthed, ill-tempered little man” from the Republican Party?  Allan Krueger,

V for Vendetta, my man.  V for Vendetta!

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By mackTn, July 7, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This video accurately represents the state of news today, especially broadcast news.  How could any decent journalist allow—invite—this level of spin and exaggeration to dominate the news?  I no longer recognize most of these so-called news anchors, nor do any of their guests seem familiar.  And Obama’s stupid for getting involved in this by commenting.

Where is the reasoned discussion of Clark’s assertion that McCain’s service experience, heroic though it was, does not qualify him for the presidency? 

To discuss this is futile.  Truthdig came up with the perfect headline for this story.

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By Paolo, July 7, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Guy Fawkes—

You will observe that I said ex-military folk OFTEN have to UNLEARN management styles they learned in the military. I had experience with this phenomenon IN BUSINESS where I HIRED these folks—not “in my parent’s basement.”

I think this management style is particularly noticeable in the red-faced, foul-mouthed, ill-tempered little man who is the current nominee of the Republican Party for president. But I never said this is true of ALL ex-military people; I merely said it is a tendency, based on my own repeated observations of people I have actually hired and worked with. 

All of which comes back to the original point of the article: military service is not and ought not to be a qualification for being president.

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By cyrena, July 7, 2008 at 2:21 am Link to this comment


I have to agree with you on Colin Powell, though I wasn’t aware of his actions in Viet Nam.

What I WILL say though, is that at first, I believe he was blind sided by the Cheney regime, and clearly back-stabbed pretty repeatedly by Condi The Rice, intent on acquiring his job, even back then.

BUT…he DID figure it out soon enough. And, I have it on good authority that when he was ‘instructed’ to present what he eventually DID present to the UN, the first thing out of him was, “This is bullshit! I’m not delivering this stuff to anybody!” But alas, he did.

And, while he did even make noises about retiring back then, the bottom line is that he did not. And that was his downfall. If he didn’t have it in him to walk away then, it pretty much makes irrelevant, anything that he did before.

It shouldn’t have been a difficult choice. That it was, speaks volumes.

He’s paying for it now, and always will.

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By beijair, July 6, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny, no one questioned McCain’s patriotism and funny how Fox seems to think some one actually questioned this about McCain.  All that was stated is that just because you serve in war or get shot down, doesn’t qualify you to be president.  that is just a fact, it DOESN’T. 
Does anyone watch Fox anymore?  Oh yeah, old people that like to hate anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

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By Guy Incognito, July 6, 2008 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. Americans are a bunch of crazy children. It seems that the person who lies the loudest and comes up with the most outrageous hyperbole wins. Gets good ratings I guess. Which is much more important than truth or democracy.

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By dave, July 6, 2008 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting how the same group of people had nowhere near the same amount to outrage when another genuine American hero from Viet Nam, John Kerry was accused of buying the medals he earned in the war…
Clarke didn’t diss his service, he just said it was irrelevant to being commander in chief…just as the right wing like Laura Ingram discounted Kerry’s military service in 2004 and backed Bush.  That is George W Bush, who’s dad got him into the Nat’l Guard during Viet Nam, who could pass the drug test to become a fighter pilot and who didn’t show up for the last 18 months of his enlistment period…

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By Bill, July 6, 2008 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I watched the U Tube footage containing the usual talking heads of MSNBC and FOX and was the least surprised at the ‘outrage’ Clarke’s remarks ignited. Let us not forget that these same folk despised McCain when Romney was in the running eluding to McCain as a “Democrat Lite”. Oh but how views change when the picture of the presumptive nominee is less fuzzy. Suddenly, McCain is this larger than life commando that could have single-handedly won the war had he not been captured. War hero? Hardly!

War hero’s change the course of history. They take hills, forts, and cross enemy lines risking death to impose their will on the enemy. John McCain was on his back for 5 years. Let’s not fall for this hype! John McCain was a prisoner of war…nothing more…nothing less.

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By southernyankee, July 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Well when it comes to the right critizing the left I have to laugh.  The right will have you believe there is only republican soldiers.  That is not true.  My family has 60 yrs of military service in WWII, Korea, VN and my husband Desert Storm and none of them were republicans.  All were proud democrats.  Wes Clark spoke the truth.  We should all question McCain’s temper.  I could care less if he was a soldier or not.  You see we had many great presidents that weren’t soldiers.  That is not a requirement.  If you say it is than we should not have senators or congressman making decisions of sending soldiers off to war if they never served in the military.

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By knute, July 5, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: Allen Krueger’s comments on Colin Powell.

Colin Powell has a history of walking the line like a good soldier instead of standing up for the truth. If Colin Powell had put the interest of the country first as Sec. of State when he saw how the Bush/ Cheney plan was to lie us into a war he woulda resigned back in 2002 instead of being one of the loudest liars of the bunch. If you look at his past he has made that choice before. Years ago while serving in Westmorland’s staff in Vietnam a part of his job was to make that fiasco more pallatable to America by covering up what we were doing to the people of both south and north vietnam in our relentless bombing on both sides. He tried his best to minimize what truth came out over the Me Lie ( sp? ) massacre. He was no more effective as a sec. of state then the current one who dosen’t appear to have a clue. Long ago any real diplomat has been removed from this administration only to be replaced by dutifull, incompetant bush followers who can’t even learn as they go apparently. Both it seems were more interesting in garnering the favor of our war king then the good of our nation. As usual our collective memory is pretty short. Colin Powell deserves a healthy amount of blame getting us into this mess in Iraq, and if he had shown the courage people seem to equate him with, he couldv’e made a huge impact on the people of this country by refusing to take part in the largest deception ever played on the american people by their president and resigned…but look what he did, he instead became one of the wars main cheerleaders.

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By lodipete, July 5, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Here’s a few things to add to the to do list;
  If it’s a newspaper, dont buy it. if it’s TV or radio, boycott their advertisers. If they ask you to participate in a poll, lie. Make their “experts” look as foolish as possible. The best way to whack the corporate plutocracy would be if everyone took their unsecured creditors into bankruptcy court.

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By Allan Krueger, July 5, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey GUY, why don’t you go fawke yourself!

“By Guy Fawkes, July 3 at 9:40 pm #

Gen. Clark’s comments are part and parcel of the left’s political bigotry in this nation.  You should be ashamed of your democratic surrogates! ”

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By eyeroll, July 4, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Disgusting but not surprising. The right invents the concept of “swift boating” and four years later uses the phrase as a pejorative to describe their own distortion of relatively innocent remark. This serves them two ways: first, it diminishes the despicable deceit in the smear against John Kerry by equating it to this minor incident; and it creates a furore whereby a weak candidate gains support as the unfairly maligned underdog.

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By Sheldon, July 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of those commentators mentioned claimed that “they are questioning McCain’s status as a war hero.”

I for one am sick of all this adoration of John McCain as a war hero.

McCain apparently flew over 20 bombing missions over North Vietnam.  Do you think the people below him were terrorized?  If so, what would that make him?  If thats what a war hero is, then to hell with all of them.

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By samosamo, July 4, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Part of the neocon’s agenda, get people stirred up over common sense talk, spin it around to make a knowledgable person look like what in actuality is the perfect definition of the current cabal in charge who are running/ruining everything about this country and this world.
From a military point of view, this nitpicking of someone’s service doesn’t even come close to realizing the true problem which is the military, they are calling the shots on their own with wolfowitz, perle, and the rest of those ‘high level thinkers’ still striving to advance the imperial agenda.
The military is a detached monster now. With no oversight from congress, these career general’s and what used to be the civilian part of the pentagon are just doing everything they can to dominate the world and decide who to blow up next. This is a severe problem that needs to be stopped. Congress absolutely has to gain control of the pentagon and start dictating to them how the military will operate. Ever since ronnie’s terms the neocons and izaelis have worked and worked to gain control and separate the military from anything except their’s and the president’s whims.
It would be and iffy situation for obama if he is elected to attempt to order congress to investigate and break up this control or should it be said uncontrolable entity. He better duck and cover because that will get him assassinated if he tries.
These mad fuckers are robbing the treasury for their stupid little wars and every kind of weapons system that has absolutely no bearing in reality of working as these neocon predict. The military is now creating ill-will everyday around the world and when we are attacked (mostly overseas for now) we cannot understand the reason and try to just bomb more and more people to hell.
I feel for our troops, the ones that honestly try to obey orders no matter how insane and endure the possibility of injury or death or capture. But none of that makes them any more qualified to be president than a citizen who never was in the military but it should subject one such as mccain to the opinions of a general.

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By Allan Krueger, July 4, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If military service makes a person qualified to be pResident, let’s put Colin Powell in office! I would vote for him ANY DAY over McSAME!

I forgive Powell for being duped by the Bush Gang into making that horrible UN speech and even forgive him for his son’s Shenanigans while with the FCC. Powell is an honest and good man! McSAME is flip-flopping nut case who will start a war lick-ity split - if the Bushwhacker doesn’t beat him to it. He will need to pull another 9/11 out of his hat, then, he can executive order himself into staying pResident until the mow cows come home!

Le no one doubt that these people will do ANYTHING to stay in power!

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By Juanjo, July 4, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Somebody tell those hysterical ninnies that the quote they’re butchering and trashing is actually a truism…

“Getting shot down off an airplane doesn’t qualify anybody to be president.”

Let’s not loose track of the goal and let’s stay focus on electing a government that cares about this country and its people.

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By Guy Fawke, July 4, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Your statement about military personnel transitioning to civilian jobs;  “I give order, you obey…” sounds very ‘Generation Y’.  You must work for some software company in California where managers speak to their employees a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient; (how do you like being stereotyped?!)  Facts are, military leaders are the most sought after employees at most Fortune 500 companies.  You need to recalibrate your ideas and facts about people in the military, and get out of the basement of your parents’ house.

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By Allan Krueger, July 4, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

FUX News mantra: If you shout louder than the other guy it makes what you are saying valid! The FUX News pukes ought to be deported!

PSSST… McCain was shot down participating in an earlier, illegal and immoral war - this does not make him a hero at my house!

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By AC Sinos, July 4, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Would usans vote for a man that threw a bomb into a crowded restaurant?...probably not.
However, they seem more than willing to vote into office someone that, from a safe distance, blasted apart the restaurant, the builing that contained it and the entire neighborhood with everyone around it. Someone they call a ‘war hero’. Someone that caused horrivel death, destruction, misery and trauma in a peasant country that only desired to be free from french colonialism. A country that asked the US for help, using the same arguments as the US Declaration of Independence against French tyranny. What kind of “freedom” does the US stand for??. Let’s be honest.
Those MSM people act like a bunch of horny teenage girls around a pop star -murderer bomb dropper- just because he donned a uniform. Are these people so morally bankrupt or just savages??. Embarrasing.

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By George edelstein, July 4, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s just entertainment;  the louder you scream, the more eyeballs you sell.


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By Leefeller, July 4, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment


Your statement seems to be more stereotyping than it should be. Seems the ability to reason of the persons in question would supersede your point. 

Military complex having undue leverage over our government has nothing to do with most of the people in the service.

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By Paolo, July 4, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Speaking the truth can really get you in trouble.

Everything Wesley Clark said was true; military service does not necessarily make a good president. In fact, I would argue the opposite. The Constitution clearly calls for CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY. One of the problems with having a military guy as President is that he’s likely to be too cozy with generals and other REMFs who are comfortable with starting unnecessary wars.

Furthermore, I’ve noticed that former military people, in civilian life, often have to “unlearn” their military management techniques in order to make it in the private sector. In business, I’ve hired several ex-military folks whose approach to management was essentially, “I give order, you obey.” That’s the military way, but it doesn’t cut it in civilian life, where employees often react to that management style by finding another job.

I am very leery of ex-military folks becoming president, as this conflicts with the concept of civilian control of the military.

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By Hoping for a Real Awakening, July 4, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The idea I believe is to divide the people into two camps,e.g. Democrat,Republican.
As most of us know their are no real differences between the two elities parties.
The real divide which you cannot and will not get them to discuss, is the “class divide”..
Nothing bothers me more then to see the people standing behind one of the presidential candidates Obama/McCain, cheering on more of the same.

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By cyrena, July 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment


You said it here:

“..AND his statements don’t degrade ole johnny, the just states the obvious: being a POW or being wounded in action does not make one presidential material…”

STATING THE OBVIOUS is what they have such really difficult troubles with. They simply cannot accept a statement of the OBVIOUS. They ALWAYS have to spin or otherwise interpret it as something else.

It is THIS that has almost completely burned me right out.

P.T..on this:

“..The funny thing is that conservatives backing Bush over McCain in the 2000 primaries suggested that being a POW had left McCain nuts…”

See what I mean? It’s highly possible that being a POW DID make him nuts. Then again, it could be something else that made him nuts. Whatever the case, he IS nuts.

Openminded, I agree:

“The fact that McCain did serve and see combat is a positive in his favor as it would hopefully make him think longer before deciding to send our service personnel to war.”

Thing is, that’s more of the OBVIOUS. One would also thing that it would make him a real die-hard in opposition to torture, not just because its such a huge violation of the Geneva Conventions, but because it happened to him!

And..there was a time when he WAS opposed to it. Now,  he seems to be OK with it. The ‘war on terror’ and all.

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By Guy Fawkes, July 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gen. Clark’s comments are part and parcel of the left’s political bigotry in this nation.  You should be ashamed of your democratic surrogates!

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By Reubenesque, July 3, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hike a skirt and have a blurt
Bleach your hair and have a blare
Fox News, channel 42, no wait a minute that’s my I.Q.
Fair and balanced that’s our game
If you don’t like it you must be sane.

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By donthatethetruth, July 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

because even though I always try to take words from the right-media with a grain of salt, Laura Ingraham has finally pushed me over the edge.

...She is, indeed, a [expletive deleted].

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By samosamo, July 3, 2008 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Goddamn the msm!!!! Swift boat old johnny? shit. Too bad he got shot down and was a pow for 5years or so. Others got worse. But ole johnny does have a presidential quality: loss of brain function which appears to be a real qualification. And then you have a vietnam war dodger as president and that went no where because the neocons and kkkrove all plotted that trick to keep ed bradley’s piece on the NON Iraq procurement of yellowcake from niger off the air. And Dan Rather fumbled that ball by running the story and having it fall into question because of questionable documents, not information, the record is clear on that, but the paper and ink looked too modern. What crap. Rather should have been a good reporter and investigated that more than it was.
Then what about the swift boat of kerry who was actually wounded in combat, but the swift boaters and fux news ran that into the ground so much the dumb asses in america finally believed it.
And Wesley Clark, wounded in action also AND a general. AND his statements don’t degrade ole johnny, the just states the obvious: being a POW or being wounded in action does not make one presidential material. For that matter, none of the current crop of canidates are presidential material or the choice will be the least worst.
Jerimiah Denton, republican senator from alabama was a pow and his performance in congress was less than stellar. It took Richard Shelby to run as a democrat so he could be elected and within a matter of weeks delared himself a republican.
This whole spiel is a common trick of msm to bring out some worthless comments or actions to take the attention away from the bigger issues.
It is amazing the number of people that never went in the military that are such experts on who did this or who got that or who became whatever, are so damn sure who ‘deserves’ to be elected, mostly to further an agenda that will not benefit america. The whole lot of them, all of msm, are paid for by the industrial military complex and are direct proof that the military is still propagandizing through the media.
Ha Ha, issues like, why doesn’t rubert murderoch just go a head and do the naked news like that canadian station did a few years back. Let his narcissist bitches pull down their britches as they do the news.

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By jamiedbruce, July 3, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Pleaaaaase give me a break. The right wing noise machine at it again. Americans are morons and they will buy into this for sure.  The US media is pathetic! I cannot even discuss this any further.

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By Thomas Billis, July 3, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

What as wonderful point one of the commnenters made about Max Cleland.The Republicans taught us all to question military service of our candidates.I thank them for that.You cannot trash the military service of a hero like Max Cleland or for that matter John Kerry and then when it is your guy claim that captivity equals Eisenhower.Feigning indignation does not mask the fact of the weakness of the military service of John McCain.Not that he is less of a hero but it adds nothing to his resume to be President.Again thank you republicans for showing us the way.

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By OpenMindedNotCredulous, July 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

I love the repeated “he’s minimizing McCain’s time in captivity” and similar comments. How does being a POW count as a qualification for President? The fact that McCain did serve and see combat is a positive in his favor as it would hopefully make him think longer before deciding to send our service personnel to war. But assuming his service was otherwise honorable with respect to his Presidential campaign it shouldn’t matter if he peeled potatoes or flew a plane.

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By P. T., July 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

The funny thing is that conservatives backing Bush over McCain in the 2000 primaries suggested that being a POW had left McCain nuts.

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By Leefeller, July 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Bimbobet feast,  not the news, continues to enthrall the ignorant masses when they are not watching American Idiot.  Doomed to be lead over a cliff by lemmings.

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By cyrena, July 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

I couldn’t listen to the whole thing.

I know that I should *not* be amazed at this insanity by now, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t thoroughly disgust me to see how these hysterics can be spun from dust.

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By troublesum, July 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Anybody remember a guy named Max Cleland?  Where was the outrage then?

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