Tag Archives: Rolling Stone

Today’s Quote: Who the Teabaggers Really Are

Matt Taibbi provides as good a definition as I’ve read thus far.

“Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as … in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate ** with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.
“Early in his campaign, Dr. Paul, the son of the uncompromising libertarian hero Ron Paul, denounced Medicare as ‘socialized medicine.’ But this spring, when confronted with the idea of reducing Medicare payments to doctors like himself — half of his patients are on Medicare — he balked. This candidate, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. ‘Physicians,’ he said, ‘should be allowed to make a comfortable living.’ ”
— Matt Taibbi, “Tea and Crackers,” Rolling Stone, Oct. 15, 2010 issue.

** [Ed. Note: Rand Paul’s Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, has come up in the polls by 30 points in the past few months. He and Paul are now is a statistical dead heat.]

Three Things You Missed in Rolling Stone’s McChrystal Profile

In this article, former Maine Congressman Tom Andrews has summed up neatly what are the essential parts of the Rolling Stone story on Gen. Stanley McChrystal ignored by the Big Media and most everyone else. For those who think Afghanistan is nothing like Vietnam — you’re right — except in all of the important ways. We are fighting an unwinnable war as an army of occupation against people who don’t want us there, and supporting a weak and despised government led by our puppet in Kabul. Even with a million troops in Afghanistan, we still couldn’t achieve the ‘victory’ of stability the Pentagon has stated as its goal. We are caught in a trap that’s bleeding us dry and the only way out is to leave, period.

Three Things You Missed in Rolling Stone’s McChrystal Profile

by Tom Andrews
CommonDreams.org
June 23, 2010

Unfortunately, President Obama missed an opportunity today to not only replace an out-of-control general but an out-of-control and failing strategy in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, mainstream media continue to miss the most serious story contained in the now famous Rolling Stone profile.

Michael Hastings’ piece is about more than an adolescent general and his buddies’ school-yard shenanigans in Kabul and Paris. It was about a failing strategy in Afghanistan and the disconnect between how the administration portrays the war in public and the reality of how the war is actually being waged.

Here are three points in the Rolling Stone article that contradict what the White House has presented to Congress and the American people about the war in Afghanistan:

“Instead of beginning to withdraw troops next year, as Obama promised, the military hopes to ramp up its counterinsurgency campaign even further.” A senior military official stationed in Afghanistan told Hastings: “There’s a possibility we could ask for another surge of US forces next summer if we see success here.”

General McChrystal’s Chief of Operations Major General Bill Mayville, described the war in Afghanistan as unwinnable: “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument.”

“If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.” This was how a Senior Advisor to General Stanley McChrystal characterizes the war in Afghanistan.

While President Obama has been assuring Congress and the American public that US troops will begin leaving Afghanistan next July, his senior military leaders believe that if they are successful, next summer could see a surge of troops, not a withdrawal. And the military should be careful not to reveal what is really going on in Afghanistan because the more Americans know about the war, the more they will be against it.

Who is holding these guys accountable?

Congress needs to step up now and start demanding answers. Until it gets them, it should refuse to appropriate the $33 billion in new war funding that the Administration has asked them for.

This is about more than an out-of-control general in Afghanistan. It’s about the strategy, stupid, and the young men and women who are giving their lives to implement it. Congress needs to send a clear and strong message to the White House using the power that the Constitution provides it — the buck stops here! No answers to these disturbing questions, no more funding for the war in Afghanistan. Period.

And, it can send that message now. The House is scheduled to vote on the administration’s Afghanistan war supplemental funding request before it leaves next week for the Fourth of July recess. It should refuse to do so. And, when it comes back to work after the fireworks at home, it should do its job and start demanding answers to all of the other disturbing issues and questions raised in the Rolling Stone article.

Now that the McChrystal side-show is over, it’s time for Congress and mainstream media to focus on the main event: the deteriorating war in Afghanistan.

Tom Andrews, a former Member of Congress from the first Congressional District of Maine, is the National Director of Win Without War, a coalition of forty-two national membership organizations including the National Council of Churches, the NAACP, the National Organization of Women, the Sierra Club, and MoveOn. He is also co-founder of New Security Action.

The Tattlesnake It’s McChrystal Clear: The General is Running for President Edition

By publicly making derogatory comments about his superiors in the chain of command President Obama, VP Biden, Defense Secretary Gates, White House National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones — US Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal has committed an act of rank insubordination, and I think he did it intentionally.

Subsequent apologies for his loose-lipped Rolling Stone interview notwithstanding, McChrystal knows Obama must, in order to maintain what little credibility he has with the military as commander-in-chief, relieve McChrystal of his command and he should break him in rank down to a Colonel or, at least, Brigadier General, but, considering Obama’s reticence in such matters, he likely won’t do the latter.

McChrystal well knows that if he wants to criticize his superiors there is a legitimate and honorable way to do so resign his commission and fire away as a civilian. Instead, the wily general has manufactured a situation wherein Obama must relieve him or lose all respect with the military establishment and a good portion of the public, as well.

Why would McChrystal set up such a situation? The easiest answer is that he’s planning on running for president as a Republican in 2012 and he can use it to a) play the aggrieved victim of a president and administration that doesn’t know what it’s doing in the Middle East; and b) insulate himself from charges of incompetence when we are forced out of Afghanistan. “I told the president the strategy he was pursuing to defeat the Taliban was na and wrong and that I had a better plan. This so angered him he found a flimsy reason to dismiss me.”

This is the line I believe McChrystal will employ following his resignation after Obama has relieved him of his command. Such criticism dovetails nicely with the GOP’s probable angle of attack on Obama in 2012 arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, na and McChrystal will go to the head of the class of potential presidential candidates in a so far thin field for the Republicans — Romney’s no barn-burner; Palin’s a sour joke; Gingrich is stuck in the mud of 1994; Pawlenty’s a calamitous bore, and no one else is really on the radar.

Of course, the GOP establishment would welcome McChrystal with open arms as the second coming of Dwight Eisenhower, but even the various Teabaggers, quasi-Libertarians and Christian zealots who are now the party’s foundation would most likely not much contest nominating a ‘military hero’ such as the general. His campaign would also provide some lengthy (and stable) coattails for other Republicans to ride, a surcease from the almost daily factional friction of a minority party in turmoil.

The question: Will former Pentagon black-ops chief McChrystal’s new strategy to gain the White House work any better than did his plans to tame Afghanistan?

The answer: For a man as arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, and na on public matters as Stanley McChrystal — who also, according to Rolling Stone, thinks Bud Light Lime is a great beer is a resounding no.

Read more:

“The Runaway General” — Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, June 8-22, 2010.

Stanley A. McChrystal’s Wikipedia bio.

“New Afghanistan Commander Ran Secret ‘Executive Assassination Ring’ Under Cheney”
— Tom Englehardt, TomDispatch.com, May 21, 2009, by way of The Huffington Post.

2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

Today’s Quote: Calling All Teabaggers

“Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they’ve been scammed. They call it the ‘True Believer Syndrome.’ That’s sort of where we are, in a state of nagging disbelief about the real problem on Wall Street. It isn’t so much that we have inadequate rules or incompetent regulators, although both of these things are certainly true. The real problem is that it doesn’t matter what regulations are in place if the people running the economy are rip-off artists. The system assumes a certain minimum level of ethical behavior and civic instinct over and above what is spelled out by the regulations. If those ethics are absent — well, this thing isn’t going to work, no matter what we do. Sure, mugging old ladies is against the law, but it’s also easy. To prevent it, we depend, for the most part, not on cops but on people making the conscious decision not to do it.”
— Matt Taibbi, “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle,” Rolling Stone, Feb. 21, 2010.

This quote applies just as easily to the na Teabaggers who are being hustled by the ‘con’-servative GOP.