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Molly Ivins: Iran Badge Fabricator Goes to Washington

Posted on May 31, 2006

By Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas—So, Haditha becomes another of the names at which we wince, along with Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and My Lai. Tell you what: Let’s not use the “stress of combat” excuse this time. According to neighbors, the girls in the family of Younis Khafif—the one who kept pleading in English, “I am a friend. I am good”—were 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1. What are they going to say? “Under stress of combat, we thought the baby was 2”?

“We have a Haditha every day,” said Muhanned Jasim, an Iraqi merchant. “Were [those killed in Haditha] the first Iraqis to be killed for no reason?” asked Ghasan Jayih, a pharmacist. Well no, but we Americans don’t count collateral damage unless we’re forced to. We prefer to ignore collateral damage, especially if they’re under 5.

Someone else with a greater taste for the ironies of technology will have to explain why it’s funny that this “Haditha” was uncovered in part by a soldier taking photos with his cellphone. Good work by Time magazine and Col. Gregory Watt. Apologies are owed by any on the right to Rep. John Murtha, who warned of Haditha early, though none of us is holding a breath. The attacks on Murtha’s patriotism were despicable. When will that tactic wear out?

Meanwhile, back at the full-force fun festival known as Washington, here’s a moment to cherish.

Two weeks ago, Amir Taheri had an Op-Ed article in the Canadian National Post claiming that the Iranians have a law requiring Jews to wear yellow badges. It turned out to be a complete fabrication and has been the subject of much contempt among bloggers. So Tuesday, Taheri was invited to the White House along with other “experts” to give the president their “honest opinions.” With advice like that, our war in Iran will be a slam-dunk.


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Speaking of slam-dunks, Bud Trillin of The Nation is on a tear about Bush’s picks for the Medal of Freedom. First, Bush gave it to old “Slam-Dunk” George Tenet himself, after pushing him out as head of the CIA. Then, Paul Bremer got the medal. Remember him? Guy who screwed up Iraq beyond recall in the first year.

We’re lurching into the ludicrous. So we’re thinking, who else belongs on this distinguished roster? “Heckuva Job Brownie” Brown, of course. The guy in charge of implementing the Social Security drug plan. Rumsfeld! By golly, there’s a man who never made a mistake.

I think that leaves out Tony Blair, who joined Bush in a mistake-admitting-athon last week. (The Prez is sorry he talked “too tough” to the terrorists.) Neither of them thought to name “the war in Iraq,” for example, as a mistake. But, as The Economist rather unkindly put it, their meeting was “The Axis of Feeble.”

Ever hopeful that some good might yet be pulled from the rubble, the appointment of Henry Paulson as treasury secretary raises hope among the never-say-die crowd. He’s good on global warming—how’s that for a change? But the real irony is that the administration had to bring in someone who can “soothe Wall Street,” which is said to be “nervous.” This whole administration has been run to favor, and grant tax breaks to, “Wall Street.” How dare the ungrateful louses be “nervous”?

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By Ed Hands, November 1, 2006 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment
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Truthdig, eh?  Well here’s some truth for you…

Regarding “America Deceived” mentioned in one of the previous posts…well it was NEVER available via Amazon or B&N. It was published via “Fast Track” at (a subsidiary of B&N, btw) IT WAS NEVER BANNED FROM ANYWHERE

The author choose not to have it released via B&N or Amazon per iUniverse. Political motivation or just a cheapskate? You decide.

If you would like, you can call them yourself and ask. The phone number for iUniverse is 1-800-AUTHORS. No, really, call them and ask if it was ever distributed by Amazon or B&N and they will tell you it wasn’t as it was a “fast Track” publication.

It is the speculation of this commenter that the author of the previous comment is actually the author of the book looking for some easy publicity via blogs. A google search on “America Decieved” will bring up hundreds of very similary comments, but all have the link to iUniverse in them and the tag line “Final link (before Google Books bends to gov’t will and drops the title)”.


How’s that for Truth?

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By CMike, July 23, 2006 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
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Molly Ivins wrote:
The guy in charge of implementing the Social Security drug plan.

That should read: The guy in charge of implementing the Medicare drug plan.

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By BlueBerry Pick'n is, June 7, 2006 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

once a Conrad Black Imperial rag, always an Imperial rag...

Sometimes, I think that man is a PosterBoy for insecure NeoCon neuroses.  He stands alone… only insofar as he can make his minions believe he stands heroically, apart & leading the Imperial Charge to Victory…

BlueBerry Pick’n
can be found @
“Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced”

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By robert puglia, June 6, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
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i think only comments owned by their respective authors with real names should be considered for posting. perhaps then alien would return to it’s planet with neither kiss, touch nor word. but that’s just me, robert puglia of urbana, ohio.

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By Jaded Prole, June 4, 2006 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
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Molly Ivans is right but outrage at this administration and at the horrific brutality of our occupation is not enough. We have to take responsibility and end this national nightmare.

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By D man, June 4, 2006 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
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IF the Dems would have stood up to BushCo in 2004 we wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. I guess I didn’t believe there was enough evidence of election tampering at the time either, but I sure do now. The evidence of outright voter fraud in the 2004 election is just overwhelming. It made me feel physically ill to read this article in Rolling Stone, but I suggest you all read it and forward it to everyone you know.

The only way we can avoid a repeat in the 2006-2008 elections is by extreme vigilance. We must all watch like hawks on election day and immediately report suspicious activity. Let’s make it a Neighborhood Watch type program for voting. What do you think? Citizens Can See? Citizen Watch? Polester Patrol? I dunno but PLEASE be aware of the problem. Thanks.

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By William Stark II, June 3, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
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Incompetence is promoted.  Therefore, anyone who kills an innocent Iraqi is promoted to General.  Kill a whole village and you become a four-star.  These people start illegal wars, ban books like “America Deceived” by E.A. Blayre III from Amazon and Wikipedia, and silence critics into little cages.  Here’s the last link, other than Google Books (who have been surprisingly supportive):

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By Gary, June 3, 2006 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment
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This whole thing is so depressing.

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By brokenstep, June 3, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
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First step though, is that perhaps 911 was a conspiracy.  When you examine that possibility, things become more clear.

Who is profiting from this war?  The US, Britain, and Israel.  Muslim countries are being defeated.  Why would any Muslim country, whose military is granted inferior to these empires, set off world war 3?  The probable answer is that they didn’t, unless you think that they are both stupid enough to do so and smart enough to pull it off.  (???)  No, the more likely answer is that this is “data manipulation”, which we all know intelligence and political agencies are FORMED TO DO.

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By brokenstep, June 3, 2006 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
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alien, you are not worth reeducating.

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By Chunkubus, June 3, 2006 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
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Neocons always fall back to the same excuse when they get nailed for war crimes - 9/11.  The unproven theory that it was an Arab conspiracy as opposed to far more credible theories that have been offered that seem to fit the facts better.

So 9/11 is the issue that fundamentally divides America.  Either you drink the koolaid and forget all the unanswered questions or you don’t.  Either you buy the theory that 9/11 was an attack by Arabs wielding boxcutters or you don’t.  Either you believe 19 essentially unarmed Arabs outwitted the trillion dollar US defense system and commanded the skies over our most vital government and financial institutions for a couple of hours without challenge by the US military - or you don’t. 

If you swallow the government’s theory then it is easy to see how you can be led into wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.  If you don’t buy it then you don’t support the war on terror by virtue of 9/11’s inconclusive nature. 

It seems a significant sector of the “liberal intelligentsia” (Chomsky, Zinn, Churchill, Parenti) are still preaching the official theory in the process of condemning US foreign policy in the Middle East as the root cause of 9/11.  While there is ample “justification” mideast countries could use as a pretext for such an attack, none of these liberals have entertained equally or perhaps more credible alternate theories that perhaps the attack really isn’t what it seems.  Theories such as 9/11 is Bush’s Reichstag Fire that kicked off his pre-laid plans for wars in Central Asia and the Middle East as outlined first by Brzezinsky under the Jimmy Carter Administration.

A recent Zogby Poll:

indicates that at this time less than half of the country (48%) swallows the official conspiracy theory.

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By Joe, June 3, 2006 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t even believe the way the Bush administration is handling this….

I found a great acticle on the Iran PM on this site:

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By Realist, June 3, 2006 at 5:50 am Link to this comment
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Actually, Lord Acton said power “tends to corrupt.” It doesn’t have to corrupt, but when corrupt people have power…

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By rob payne, June 3, 2006 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
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Here is an interesting column by Larry Johnson the ex-CIA agent who has been highly critical of Bush and his administration. I have been reading what Larry Johnson has had to say for some time and I always find he makes some very well-balanced and valid points as the one he makes here which is we are all responsible for what happened in Haditha.

Read it with an open mind and that includes all of you who think your proclamations of patriotism make you better than every one else.

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By mark, June 3, 2006 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
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Time for regime change in the US if you ask me.

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By Virgil, June 2, 2006 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment
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Got to love those ignorant right-wing conservative morons. When are you fundies going to get a clue? Your disregard for the facts and willful ignorance of the situation in Iraq are treasonous in their disregard for our country, it’s actions and its soldiers.

It is so typical that your comments on this story are barely coherent rants based on nothing but the feeble logic that your sub-average intellect manages to spurt out.

Republicans, crawl back under the rocks from whence you came. You are traitors to our country, don’t give a damn about our troops and lack the balls to do the right thing. Our founding fathers would have given up their cause if they knew the country would one day be controlled by unthinking, troop hating, traitors like you Republicans.

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By bobby, June 2, 2006 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
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Natasha Golden Heart, I think your caps lock is broken.  Try fixing it before coming back on the internets.

People for rational thoughts in public

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By Samuel L. Bronkowitz, June 2, 2006 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
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The reason he is invited to the White House is to discuss ways to lie to the public. 

His article was taken as fact.  The government needs new ways to lie to the public in the information age and have them swallow it all, with no questions asked.

And no spitting.

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By alien, June 2, 2006 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
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here’s a typical ‘leftie liberal’ page, the ‘semi informed’ with their ready-made idealism. ANY idealism is just another FUNDAMENTALISM, with no use for compromise.  France (and Russia) were anti invasion, because they BOTH had cosy oil-development deals with Saddam, before the UN placed sanctions on him.
Is anyone forgetting that the islamic Hard liners ALREADY blew up/knocked down the twin towers? Do you not realise THAT is an open declaration of WAR; a new kind of war, one without rules or geneva convention.
Even WITHOUT the troops, (out in an alien desert, surrounded by enemies; where even the civilians are more and more hostile every day -primarily because they can’t catch the ‘insurgents’), bombs are going off, religious killing, power struggles, corrupt police secretly aiding the insurgents; -they are killing people too.
So why don’t you all STOP your soft bleating, and realise that in a war, you CANNOT afford to be less ruthless than your enemy, or else -you lose.
9-11 proved the islamic hard liners considerred themselves ‘ready’ to take on the west. So, you all think we should roll over, huh?
well, those young men are TRYING to defend YOUR right, to sit in your cosy houses, with your 4-wheel SPV’s, consuming billions of gallons of oil. drinking, chattering, and living with the complete freedom, even to back-stab your own side. When the rest of the world has as much freedom, without considerring it a blasphemous evil, THEN we can relax the guards, call in the troops, and call the rest of the world our friend.
Wake up and smell the REAL world; it ain’t coffee.

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By waypastcynic, June 2, 2006 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War is brutal. It WILL brutalize most people to some extent. Given the right (wrong?) situation, it CAN brutalize ANYONE. If you think it can’t turn you into a monster, you’re kidding yourself. There are two differences between what is happening today and what has happened for thousands of years. First, we are so wired today that secrecy is nearly impossible, at least long-term. Second, brutality is not officially condoned by most Western governments as it has so often been. There have been (and are today) some governments and armies which deliberately, openly and offically use rape as a weapon, terror as a control, savagery for it’s own sake.
WWII was generally regarded as a ‘good’ war, fought honorably, for just reasons. Does anyone think all civilan deaths were ‘collateral’, accidental, unavoidable? That no soldier ever shot a civilian out of hatred and anger? No enemy was ever tortured for information?
People in power will somtimes misuse that power, whether it’s a soldier going berserk and shooting innocents, a cop beating up a suspect out of hatred, a politican taking bribes - whatever.
Lord Acton was right: Power corrupts.

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By DMan, June 2, 2006 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s label the whole military for actions of a few. Funny how you on the left in one case, the war are great at waiting for the results thaen in typical Monday morning qb fashion saying how wrong it is, then on the other you convict the whole military before any investigations are done. Guilty until proven innocent, then if proven innocent still guilty. C quil states"Dahr Jamail says in his newsletters that he has reports of “Haditha’s” every day.” Where are these reports?

All those on the left that Bash the right as war mongers fail to acknowledge that your politicians on the left voted to give Bush the power to act. Some as Kerry won’t say they made a mistake, as he said in the campaign, knowing what he knows today if he had to vote again he would vote the same way. SO you want stupid politicians representing you being duped by what many on the left claim is the dumbest President ever. You ae a joke. Slick had several oppurtunities to take out Osama while in office and he failed. He himself even thought Saddam was a threat but he loves to speak today how wrong we are to be there and Saddam was not a threat. I post this one of many links that shows how Clinton thought about Saddam.

But more than likely as usual that won’t be enough. Just keep traveling the world saying how wrong we are, when you didn’t have the courage to clean up the terrorists on your watch.

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By Art Durand aka Whitebear, June 2, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lies, trechery and deceit. Secrecy to protect us?
Hardly. This administration cultivates secrecy because their actions could not stand the light of day.
It has been said that one day the third eye in each human will open. On that day we will no longer be able to lie to each other or, more importantly, to ourselves.
All people of good will and heart pray for that day.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse!

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By British Alcoholic, June 2, 2006 at 5:40 am Link to this comment
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Comment #10822 by quixote on 5/31 at 9:11 pm

yes…you are missing the point - utterly!

examples of repression far worse than this could be cited in reference to many other nations…..the reason this particular example is being highlighted is because it fits a fairly obvious agenda.

the lunatics who railroaded us into one disastrous colonial military adventure are in the process of beating the drums for the next one.

are you for them? or against them?

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By Biff Usually, June 2, 2006 at 5:35 am Link to this comment
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Why is no one wondering why the yellow badge story was easy to believe?  Who said it was easy to believe?

And the point of Ms. Ivins’s story was not the story, but that the clueless man who wrote it was invited to the White House as an “expert” on Iran.  In other words, that the Bush administration was again getting information from propagandists in order to justify another unjust and unjustifiable war.

The only people who found the story “easy to believe” are those who desire another disastrous war.

And the only people who have ever said that Islamic misogeny is “all right” have said so from behind a veil.

But I don’t know why I am even responding to your nonsense, it’s not like you would listen.

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By iburl, June 1, 2006 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Molly is exactly on point, as usual! Much Love!

Somebody should do the math on Iraq like Cecil did on Vietnam:

I think the way to beat the crazies in Iran is with freedom, peace and prosperity. Too bad Bush hasn’t left us with any to spare, eh?

What are the Iranians supposed to think? Iran can plainly see the respect and deference that comes with a nuke. They see Pakistan as an ALLY in the war on terror, even though there’s a 50-50 chance they harbor Osama there and they are positively brimming with anti-woman/anti-jew crazies. Bush does nothing to quell their desire for nukes with his own threats of pre-emptive “tatical” nuking. They see how far into the wrong we are willing to go in Iraq, why should it be any different for them.

The Iranians have their own internal strife. The one thing that could unite them all, and the entire world, against us would be the use of any form of nuclear weapon against Iran. Even the threat makes us seem stupid and evil. God damned war pigs.

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By Colonel, June 1, 2006 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When a blatant propagandist like Amir Taheri of yellow badge fame is invited to the White House to give his opinion on anything, we know we are in serious trouble as a country. We know our president is not only incompetent but either dishonest, deluded or defrauded. It would be interesting - and revealing - to know just who on the president’s staff is responsible for inviting Taheri.

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By C Quil, June 1, 2006 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
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Dahr Jamail says in his newsletters that he has reports of “Haditha’s” every day. People disappear without a trace. Bodies are bulldozed into pits and buried or dumped into the river.

There have even been reports of patrols carrying shovels with them when they go out. If someone is spotted walking by the roadside or in a field, they are shot and a shovel is thrown out beside the body to prove that they were about to install a bomb. A shovel is proof enough of their intentions, and no further questions or investigations are required.

There are some terrible things going on, more than we know now, I’m sure, and probably more than we’ll ever know.

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By C. Gilbert, June 1, 2006 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My observations (seen from outside the US) of the newly revealed Haditha killings ( or the lighter word ‘deaths’) of Nov 15, 2005 come through analysis reports that have constantly emphasized scripts injected with many uses of the terms ‘perhaps’ ‘possibility’ ‘allegation’ ‘alleged’ and ‘if indeed’ ‘if true’ or ‘what are the facts?’ appeasing deniers that 24 murdered men ,women and kids may not have happened.

Since January the military investigators have had their time yet the accompanying message broadcast through out the days by US Cable News seems to want to makes nice with its Administration links.

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By Natasha Golden Heart, June 1, 2006 at 1:08 am Link to this comment
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By rob payne, June 1, 2006 at 12:18 am Link to this comment
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As Tommy Franks the frank general said “We don’t do body counts” which I guess is because anyone who has kissed Bush’s behind so often that his brain has rotted and dribbled out his nose so he can’t count anymore. But of course that is all his royal majesty the emperor of space and time George Bush wants is to hear is “yes George you are certainly right about that” which is why he has been so wrong about everything.

Good news! We are going to talk to the Iranians after all. It is a step in the right direction, maybe the first one in the long history of this administration. Strike up the band and get the confetti out. Now if only Bush had talked to the European cheese eaters before Iraq got under way Iraq never would have gotten under way but hey, it is a beginning. Someone must have told Bush he was about to start the third world war though that person is now working for Bush at the North Pole.

Paul Bremer got the medal of freedom? Doesn’t Bush know that there is a civil war in Iraq? What does a civil war in Iraq have to do with a medal of freedom? Answer: The other day that dapper little Brit Blair told us we are running the race to liberty in Iraq. That is good, that is very good, the race to liberty, I love that racy kind of talk it is so macho and now. “Gentlemen, start your tanks.”

Speaking of the British was it not Sherlock Holmes who said what ever remains must be the truth? To bad we cannot find the remains.

Speaking of remains we have been doing such a swell job in Iraq that according to an article I read they find bodies in the streets every morning. And this does not even include what the marines like to do, this is due to the civil war in Iraq, whoops, sorry there is no civil war we are in a race to liberty. Apparently the favorite torture device the Iraqi likes to use on one another is the power drill.

Speaking of power the Supreme Court, that lackey of the supreme being the grand poobah of the universe the august and mighty one himself Gorgeous Georgeous the prancing peacock of all eternity, has said that federal employees cannot fink on their superiors. One thing about Georgie is he sure knows how to cover his bases, can’t do anything else but he does cover his bases.

Ahh, that race to liberty.

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By Scott K Dolik, May 31, 2006 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Perhaps a pink star would be appropriate for all the folks who lose their rights with the proposed “Marriage Amendment”. 

Why bother with a law when they can wear a badge?


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By Steve Schultz, May 31, 2006 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My vote for the most despicable statement to emanate from this despicable, arrogant, and nearly literate “Decider and Chief”, came when his handlers gave him a bullhorn in the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center and he bleated out, “Let’s Roll” to end his inspirational talk to the workers still risking their lives as they worked through the rubble. The fact that he was told to say that by someone from the staff does not relieve Bush of the responsibility for saying it. And he did it with a smile on his face. I feel nothing but contempt for this insignificant excuse of a man. I mention this because the stench given off by this administration would cause a Hyena to gag. The swirl of fresh air I feel when reading your words gives me hope that at some point these critters will be gone and the Great Satan will begin to heal. Right between their eyes, Molly.

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By quixote, May 31, 2006 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is nobody wondering why the yellow star story was so easy to believe? Maybe it’s because that nonsense is so similar to the actual nonsense perpetrated by the Islamists?

As I said elsewhere the article in Jewish week debunking the story notes that the Iranian law in question has “no provision ... that any Iranians will have to wear any kind of prescribed dress.”

Then compare that to a recent headline from The Guardian, April 20, 2006:
Police in Tehran ordered to arrest women in ‘un-Islamic’ dress

Oh. I guess I’m missing the point. The dress code doesn’t apply to Jews. Or “Iranians.” Only to women.

That’s all right then.

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