Podcasting Liberally, 4/18/06

I was going to write that we had no special guests last night, but if you listen closely, really, we’re all kinda special in our own way. (Especially Will.)

Joining me in our celebration of specialness were Mollie, Will, Gavin, Carl, and newbie Jeremy, a writer and editor for Seattlest and the Seattle Sinner. Topic’s of discussion included Vice President Darth Sidious Dick Cheney’s recent fundraising trip to WA state, Ron Sims’ proposed expansion of bus service in King County, my proposed latte tax to pay for a new arena for the Sonics, and the growing chorus of retired generals criticizing the Bush administration’s inept execution of the war in Iraq.

The show is 54:46, and is available here as a 34.6 MB MP3. Please visit PodcastingLiberally.com for complete archives and RSS feeds.

[Recorded live at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally. Special thanks to Confab creators Gavin and Richard for producing the show.]


  1. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I see in the news that Scotty McClellan is beaming himself back to wherever he came from. Scott had all the talents required of a Bushco press secretary: He was hostile, a liar, and was especially good at rambling on and one while saying absolutely nothing. Above all, he’s a firm believer in government secrecy and unelected presidents having the right to do whatever they fucking feel like doing, the Constitution be damned.

  2. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Momus Pompous Assus @1

    Hey MPA, I heard they’re expanding bus service in D.C. — the prison bus makes regular stops at the Capitol Building now.

  3. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    NOV is up $2.61 to $72.40 this morning! You should’ve listened to The Bunny when I told ya to buy it at 58. Roger Rabbit is gonna be RICH!!! Especially if Bush bombs Iran, which seems a sure thing. Then oil will hit $200/bbl., and the CEO of Exxon will get another bonus. When NOV hits $250 a share, I’m gonna short it and double my money riding it back down.

  4. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There are a lot of idiot Republican investors out there who think NOV is worth exactly the price of a barrel of oil. All NOV does is make and sell drilling equipment. Just because oil hits $200/bbl. doesn’t mean the industry will three times as many holes as it does now. There’s only so much oil to pump out there. Ma Nature ain’t making more of it. Not in our lifetime, anyway.

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You can’t go wrong betting your money that the Republican warmonger-liars are gonna start another war! Iran has been on the neocon drawing board all along! The tipoff is Bush says he’s gonna resolve this with “diplomacy” — he’s lying for sure! Bush is one of those liars who lies just to hear himself lying.

  6. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    When you suckers are paying $8.50 for gas this summer, just remind yourself that you’re helping to make Roger Rabbit rich!!! Then ditch your car, grow a pair of bunny legs, and GO HOPPING DOWN THE BUNNY TRAIL!!


  7. 13

    wayne spews:

    Bagdad Bob (remember him?) and McClellan should form a consulting company. They could do PR for Halliburton, tobacco companies, Republican candidates and companies sending jobs overseas.

  8. 14

    right-where-I-want-to-be spews:

    Roger rabid. You love to hear yourself talk, hey? Does a room ever emtpy out when you start talking? I bet it does. But, while you’re attacking Scott McClellan, get honest for once and talk about Bill “The Rapist” Clinton and his less than forthcoming press secretary. It’s all one side with you people…whiney little bitches.

  9. 16

    jaybo spews:

    There’s reality and then there’s the mainstream media (they go together like oil and water).

    Funny how that once upon a time General Zinni actually condoned invading Iraq………………

    Chicago Tribune

    October 2, 2000 Monday,

    SECTION: News; Pg. 1; ZONE: N

    LENGTH: 1426 words


    BYLINE: By John Diamond, Washington Bureau.


    The U.S. strategy of containment against Iraq is unraveling amid rising oil prices, bickering among allies and concern about the suffering of the Iraqi people.

    President Saddam Hussein’s hold on power is as strong as ever.

    Using money diverted from the UN-sanctioned oil-for-food program, his military has begun to rebuild from the damage sustained in the Persian Gulf war.

    The surge in fuel prices suddenly places the West in the awkward posture of beseeching Iraq not to cut crude oil production.

    “Make no mistake about it. Iraq is awash with money,” said Richard Butler, the former UN weapons inspector whose team was turned out of Iraq two years ago.

    “The regime is in great shape,” he told lawmakers last week.

    Mild protestations from Washington have done nothing to stop an increasing flow of commercial flights into Iraq from France, Russia, Jordan and Yemen.

    Iraq has avoided international arms inspections for two years, leaving the Pentagon in the dark as to Baghdad’s arsenal.

    The economic sanctions kept in place at Washington’s urging are coming under increasing attack not only from countries such as Russia and France that hope to do a booming business with Iraq but also from U.S. lawmakers of both parties concerned about the effect on nutrition and infant mortality in Iraq.

    No one seems happy with the U.S. containment strategy.

    But after months of intensive internal review by the Clinton administration, no workable alternative has emerged. Admitting frustration, the administration counsels patience while Hussein gives every indication that time is on his side.

    “We would like to see Saddam gone,” Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering told Arab journalists recently. “But I can’t tell you that there is a magic formula to see this done. Our magic formula, in reality, is patience. … It is not a perfect policy.”

    One of the participants in Capitol Hill’s policy review was retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, until recently the head of the U.S. military command in charge of the Persian Gulf region.

    Zinni has briefed senior administration officials on a secret war plan that details how the U.S. military, with limited allied help, would seek to topple Hussein. The effort would be massive, involving possibly as many as half a million troops, according to one knowledgeable official.

    Although he has confidence in U.S. forces, Zinni has no illusions that such a scheme could win public support, considering the cost in lives and dollars it would almost certainly involve.

    Nor, he said, would any gulf nation allow such an offensive to spring from its territory without a major provocation by Iraq.

    “I wracked my brain for over four years to come up with a strategy other than containment that might work,” Zinni told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I have to be honest with you: I didn’t come up with a better one. Containment is what you do when you can’t come up with the popular will to take decisive military action.”

    The gulf war almost a decade ago left Hussein with a shaky hold on power.

    Armchair generals complained that the Bush administration ended the war too soon and blew a chance to drive Hussein from power.

    Bush allies such as retired Gen. Colin Powell, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now an active supporter of Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s run for the presidency, call those criticisms preposterous. They say the coalition of nations, including many Arab countries, would have fallen apart had the United States marched on Baghdad.

    Nevertheless, the notion that Hussein somehow survived because of U.S. weakness has persisted, and the Iraqi leader’s ability to tweak Washington has remained a major foreign policy irritant to the Clinton administration for the past eight years.

    Since the gulf war, the United States has spent $8 billion building up an arsenal in the gulf, deploying thousands of troops to the region, conducting occasional “pinprick” strikes, and flying hundreds of combat sorties over northern and southern Iraq. Under U.S. and allied scrutiny, Iraq has refrained from threatening military moves against its neighbors, and for this reason U.S. allies in the gulf such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman continue to allow a U.S. military presence.

    But the 30-nation coalition that fought Iraq in 1991 has nearly evaporated. Only U.S. and British warplanes participate in keeping Iraqi planes from entering the northern and southern Iraq no-fly zones.

    “Why is the United States virtually alone?” Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked at a recent hearing.

    Frustrated by Iraq’s ability to defy international sanctions and to throw out U.S. arms inspectors, Congress passed legislation two years ago to funnel $97 million to opposition groups seeking to topple Hussein. Yet so far, the money has gone to fax machines and copiers, and not a single bullet has been purchased with the aid, according to Clinton administration reports.

    Opponents of Hussein inside Iraq are far too weak to challenge his regime.

    Arab-language newspapers have reported that he has cancer and that the recent flights from France carried medical specialists to treat him. But U.S. intelligence dismisses this as wishful thinking, saying there’s no evidence to support rumors that Hussein is ailing.

    Richard Perle, a senior Reagan administration official and close adviser to Gov. Bush, advocates a more active U.S. military role, including arming and training indigenous Iraqi opposition groups.

    “It is increasingly clear that the only solution to the danger posed by Saddam Hussein is a sustained, determined plan to remove him from power,” Perle said. “Saddam has emerged from each new bombing stronger than before. Support for sanctions, whose most visible effect is the impoverishment of the Iraqi people, is sinking fast.”

    The technical term used by the Pentagon to explain the current military posture toward Iraq is “keeping Saddam in his box.”

    Increasingly it appears Washington is boxed in by its own Iraq policy.

    The United States got involved in the gulf war for economic reasons.

    “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” was how then-Secretary of State James Baker explained it.

    The idea was that aggression by one nation in the heart of the world’s richest oil region would upset energy markets, with potentially enormous repercussions in the United States, perhaps leading to recession and unemployment.

    To win public support for waging the gulf war, however, Washington had to demonize Hussein, and the Iraqi leader gave the Bush administration plenty of material.

    There were his Scud missile attacks on Israel and poison gas attacks on his own Kurdish population in the north in the late 1980s. There was the brutal treatment of Kuwait during Iraq’s occupation.

    Immediately after the war, there was the iron-fisted repression of an uprising by the so-called marsh Arabs in southern Iraq.

    Subsequent UN inspections revealed a huge Iraqi chemical and biological weapons program and the beginnings of a nuclear weapons effort.

    Today, the rest of the world appears to see Iraq in economic terms, as a possible trading partner, as holder of the world’s second-largest oil reserves whose production capacity could ease the latest fuel price spike.

    The State Department acknowledges that even if Hussein observed all the requirements imposed by the UN, the containment policy would remain until he was out of power.

    With no arms inspectors inside Iraq, it is difficult to tell whether Hussein has reconstituted his programs to build weapons of mass destruction. But there is some evidence to indicate that he is.

    Despite the suspicions of an arms buildup by Baghdad, the administration, pressured by France and Russia in the UN Security Council, has acquiesced repeatedly on Iraq.

    Just last week, the U.S. lifted its earlier objections and voted to allow Iraq to lower the percentage of its oil revenue that must go into a fund to compensate victims of Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait.

    Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence suspects that some of the food and drugs Iraq is buying with oil money are being exported for cash the regime can use for weapons.

    Stephen Solarz, a former Democratic congressman from New York known for his foreign policy expertise, told Congress last week that the United States has declared its intention of toppling Hussein without a plan that offers a realistic hope of achieving that objective.

    “We’re paying a very heavy price in terms of our credibility in the region,” Solarz said.

  10. 18

    Voter Advocate spews:


    Yeah, in particular, this part, where of Zinni’s plan it is said

    “The effort would be massive, involving possibly as many as half a million troops.”

    None of the generals who’ve come out against Rumsfeld are pacifits. Their complaint is incompetent leadership and insolent resistance to opposing points of view.

  11. 19

    Donnageddon spews:

    Scotty’s gone!!

    Where will BushCo find another person who can say “We don’t comment on an ongoing criminal investigation” 50 times each press conference?

    And as the criminal investigtions become more an more numerous… well the next BushCo spokesperson is going to have one tough job.

  12. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Bagdad Bob (remember him?) and McClellan should form a consulting company. They could do PR for Halliburton, tobacco companies, Republican candidates and companies sending jobs overseas. Commentby wayne— 4/19/06@ 1:48 pm”

    I don’t think it’ll help. It’s to the point where the only way those guys can salvage their credibility is to commit hara-kiri.

  13. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Kevin Carns @14

    “Roger rabid. You love to hear yourself talk, hey?” Commentby right-where-I-want-to-be— 4/19/06@ 1:59 pm

    No, I love to make you hear me talk! When wingfucks like you bitch and whine about what I say, I know I’m getting to you! Whatsa matter, Kevin, is your robo-call machine on the fritz? Don’t have anything better to do than blog on HorsesAss? This is a LIBERAL blog, dude! If you don’t like the comments here, go fuck your armadillo! She’s horny, and she loves you!

    For photo of Kevin’s girlfriend, click here: http://www.msu.edu/~nixonjos/a.....-unger.jpg

  14. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Funny how that once upon a time General Zinni actually condoned invading Iraq………………”

    That was before he realized how fucking incompetent the civilian micro-managers are.

  15. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “jaybo, Did you even read the article you posted?” Commentby Another TJ— 4/19/06@ 2:43 pm

    He sure didn’t read the copyright notice or Fair Use Doctrine. He copy-and-pasted the whole thing.

  16. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “the next BushCo spokesperson is going to have one tough job.”
    Commentby Donnageddon— 4/19/06@ 3:04 pm

    Nah, it’s an easy job. You don’t need to know anything. You can answer every question by saying, “We don’t comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.”