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WilliamPitt

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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,319

Journal Archives

When you stand for nothing, you get nothing in return.

I know the Koch brothers exist, and I am all too aware of what they are up to. I know you need to contend with the billionaire neo-oligarchs who think they deserve to run the country because they can write checks with a lot of zeroes to the left of the decimal. Near as I can tell, however, your plan to this point has been to run away from those of us trying to fight these bastards. We're useful right up to the fundraising deadline, but after that, we get the back of your hand.

You support fracking while giving lip-service to climate change? You want Keystone XL approved, despite the fact that it will run the world's dirtiest fuel through our breadbasket and over our main aquifer in a pipeline that is dead-bang guaranteed to leak? You endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement? You're satisfied with the barren lack of accounting meted to the Wall Street brigands who stole our future? You're down with a third war in Iraq?

Wait, you don't support all that? But you won't stand against it, because you're afraid of losing votes or campaign money?

My heroes.

A bunch of braniacs have crunched the numbers and concluded that young people, plus minority voters, plus women, plus old white racist Fox News viewers dying off, means the long-term electoral odds are in the Democrats' favor, and gee wilikers, isn't that nifty news for the party in 30 years...except for the millions of people who will take a deep beating between then and now, and that's only if the party's institutional cowardice and greed doesn't let the oligarchs buy out the whole process from soup to nuts in the meantime.

The police are being weaponized and militarized from coast to coast, making even mild street protest a potentially lethal exercise. The Supreme Court doesn't believe women should have control of their own bodies. There are parts of the country where the tapwater is flammable. The US is spending billions of dollars to bomb the weapons it spent billions of dollars on just a few years ago.

And from the alleged "liberal" party? Silence, acquiescence, and that's only if they're not too busy cashing a check.

Come November, if the Democrats wind up flopping and flailing for an explanation as to why they got routed at the polls, let me offer a succinct reply: You stand for nothing. You are the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters. Everyone expects you to go down to defeat, because you always lay down, because you are paid to do so.

It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way it is. When the midterms eat you alive, remember what I said. When you stand for nothing, you get nothing in return.

Write me an email about that.

An Open Letter to My Democratic Spammer
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26605-an-open-letter-to-my-democratic-spammer

"Pack up. Go home. It's done."

Jesus H. Baldheaded CHRIST.

OK. All of you people who love to deploy the OMG REPUBLICANS YOU GUYS argument to explain why the Democratic Party isn't an utterly brain-addled shitshow of an organization, answer me this:

When I get an email titled "Pack up. Go home. It's done." (which I just did)

...what, exactly, am I supposed to think? No hope. Utterly doomed. I may as well not even bother showing up to vote.

Right? Exactly how the screaming purple fuck should I or anyone else interpret "Pack up. Go home. It's done" any other way?

THIS is how they're inspiring voters?!

Not a constructive message. Like, at all.

I quote myself, from my 10/3 article:

"Here's a memo to whoever came up with this particularly obnoxious fundraising tactic: You suck. I hope you get fired with such velocity that you can't even get a job drowning puppies in a kill shelter."

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26605-an-open-letter-to-my-democratic-spammer

Derpku

Feelings of regret
CRUSHING FAILURE
We've got nothing left

- My emails from the DCCC this morning.

Haiku Derp. Derpku.

"But the President has paid dearly..."

"The farmer imagines power and place are fine things. But the President has paid dearly for his White House. It has commonly cost him all his peace, and the best of his manly attributes. To preserve for a short time so conspicuous an appearance before the world, he is content to eat dust before the real masters who stand erect behind the throne."

- Emerson

George W. Bush: The Gift That Keeps On Giving



US Army soldiers take samples from items found
in a weapons cache, Baqubah, Iraq, January 3, 2009.
(Photo: The US Army)


George W. Bush: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Saturday 18 October 2014

Thirteen years ago, after the Towers came down but before the war started, I wrote a book that claimed there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and therefore there was no reason to go to war there. That book has stood the test of time, but as it turns out, there were WMD in that shattered, battered and bombed-out nation...just not in the way it was explained to us.

On Tuesday, The New York Times published a thunderclap of an article titled "The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons." The gist of it, in short, is that Iraq was littered with thousands of chemical munitions the US and other countries had sold them before 1991. US troops were tasked to police them up and destroy them, a process that injured many of them in ways they still endure today, but because the Bush administration wanted to keep these munitions secret, the troops who happened to scoop up a leaking mustard gas shell and woke up the following day covered in boils and unable to breathe never received proper medical treatment.

But wait, hold the phone: Wasn't the whole point of the exercise about the presence of WMD in Iraq? If US troops found thousands of chemical shells, which they dealt with at their peril, why didn't the Bush administration bellow the fact to the heavens?

Ask Karl Rove:

Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to "let these sleeping dogs lie."

The issue of Iraq's WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops' chemically induced wounds.

To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and outside, the blame for the coverup falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove's.


Some very stupid people heralded the Times' article as vindication of their long-embraced belief that Iraq actually did have WMD, and therefore George W. Bush's calamitous war was justified. There are several problems with this premise: 1. One actually has to read the article, which is long and full of words, several of which explain that the chemical munitions discovered were from 1991 or before, and were utterly useless as designed when found during the war; 2. None of it was worth fighting a decade-long war over; 3. The Bush administration didn't announce the existence of these decrepit munitions to the world because the US sold them to Iraq during the last Bush administration, and because pretending they weren't there meant the VA could blow off the affected soldiers.

The rhetoric, circa March 2003: Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX gas, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in a "robust" nuclear weapons programs.

The rhetoric in this brave new year of 2014: THE NEW YORK TIMES SAID THERE WERE A BUNCH OF SHELLS IN IRAQ FROM BEFORE 1991 THAT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH SOLD TO SADDAM HUSSEIN WHICH GEORGE W. BUSH USED AS AN EXCUSE TO PLUNDER THE TREASURY AND SINK US INTO PERMANENT WAR IN THE MIDEAST AND WIN SOME ELECTIONS WHICH MEANS WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG YOU GUYS.

Fail.

(snip)

I have said this many times before, and will have to say it many times again until either these people are in jail or I am wrapped in my shroud: The single greatest strength of the American right is their utter and complete lack of shame. They will say anything - literally anything - if it moves the political ball even a few inches down the field.

P.S. The region of Iraq where the majority of these pre-1991 US-made chemical munitions can still be found is currently under the control of ISIS.

Thanks, George. You're the gift that keeps on giving.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26898-george-w-bush-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving

Some lazy-ass pics of the most astonishing Autumn foliage season I've ever experienced.

Yes yes yes yes yes, this is a forum dedicated to death-brawls and long-standing grudges, but I thought a moment of shared astonishment might serve. We here in the Northeast are enjoying pretty much the most gorgeous foliage in a generation. I took these today from my office, which has been a soaking rainy day, and took them all indoors.







It's a planet worth saving, I think.

Komen and the Pinkwashed Drill Bit: Fracking "For the Cure"



(Image: Cancer awareness, Drill bit via Shutterstock;
Edited: EL / TO)


Komen and the Pinkwashed Drill Bit: Fracking "For the Cure"
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 09 October 2014

Two years ago, the breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure came desperately close to exploding itself when it announced that it was cancelling its grants to Planned Parenthood for mammograms and other medical procedures vital to women's health. All over the country, women raised seven shades of scalding Hell over Komen's backward priorities, and the organization took a fierce fundraising hit from which it is still attempting to recover.

Flash forward to this week, right in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Komen has once again stepped on a land mine it planted in its own path. In a PR move worthy of The Onion, it was announced this week that Komen has teamed up with Baker Hughes, one of the largest fracking concerns in the country, to paint 1,000 fracking drill bits pink in an effort they claimed will "serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease."

They've called it "Doing Our Bit for the Cure." No, really.

The response was immediate and ferocious. The organization Breast Cancer Action denounced the Komen/Baker Hughes drill bit collaboration as "pinkwashing," a term they originally coined which is defined as, "A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease."

"We are outraged that as the largest breast cancer organization in the world, you are partnering with a fracking corporation that is poisoning our health," continued Breast Cancer action in a statement. "Pink drill bits are a pinkwashing publicity stunt. Fracking is a toxic process - at least 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer. By taking money from these companies and giving them permission to use your name, you are complicit in a practice that endangers women's health. You have created a perfect profit cycle whereby Baker Hughes contributes to causing the very disease you raise money to cure. This is unacceptable to us. Our health is not for sale."

(snip)

California is enduring a drought of historic proportions, and billions of gallons of precious water have already been used in the fracking process, often in the most drought-stricken areas of the state. Now we learn the very water used in fracking has been vomited into California's shrinking water supply. If Breast Cancer Action's numbers are correct, and 25% of the chemicals used in fracking are known to cause cancer, an astonishing number of Californians have been put at risk.

Thanks, fracking. Doing your bit, indeed.

One wonders who is in charge of Komen's public relations department these days. There is a saying that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually re-create the works of Shakespeare. By the same token, an infinite number of monkeys banging away on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually come up with a marketing strategy as catastrophically ugly as this. Komen didn't need the monkeys; they did it all by themselves.

Komen, of course, reacted to the criticism by claiming, "The evidence to this point does not establish a connection between fracking and breast cancer." The same dodge was successfully deployed by the tobacco companies for decades. Next up: pink cigarettes, brought to you by Komen and Phillip Morris. "Let's Help Breast Cancer Go Up in Smoke!"

I really wish I was trying to be funny. At this point, nothing would surprise me.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/26731-komen-and-the-pinkwashed-drill-bit-fracking-for-the-cure

Bush, Flying Shoes and Remembering the Truth



Former President Bush ducking to avoid being hit by the two shoes
thrown by Al-Baghdadia TV journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi at a press
conference. Baghdad, Iraq, December 14, 2008.
(Image: US Federal Government)


Bush, Flying Shoes and Remembering the Truth
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Saturday 04 October 2014

Remember the guy in Iraq who threw his shoes at George W. Bush? It was December of 2008, during a press conference people only remember now because of the footwear that was flying.

As it turns out, however, that was actually a genuinely weighty presser.

Why?

Allow me, if I may, to paint a picture.

Imagine a man, a child of exceeding privilege, who stumblebumbed his way to a business degree from a prestigious institution of higher learning he had no business attending on the merits, but for his last name, and the bankroll attached to it. He had trouble with drugs, and booze, and then trouble with military service, and then sullied the reputation of that aforementioned learning institution by running every single business he laid hands on into the ground.

Yet, somehow, by the magic of money, connections, and Jesus - to whom this child of privilege stapled himself in his less-inebriated 40s - the man who earned nothing on his own, barely dragged himself to his degree, and ruined every enterprise he touched as if he was King Midas in reverse, one day discovered he was the Governor of Texas...and then, by dint of the single most broken election in American history, and thanks entirely to a Supreme Court decision that will knock boots with Dred Scot for all eternity, this son of privilege C-student failure of a businessman became President of The United States, and we as a nation will be digging out from under that sulfurous confluence of circumstances for another half-dozen generations to come, if we're lucky.

Yeah, I'm talking about George, the fellow who used September 11 against you and I to begin the ongoing ravaging of civil rights in the United States, to win some elections, and most importantly, to slap the country into a war in Iraq that has not ended, but made his friends (Dick Cheney, Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, The Carlyle Group, and oh yeah, his dad) filthy rich. Most people consider George a failed president, but I vehemently disagree. According to the goals laid out by the paymasters who created him - cut taxes for rich people, make government dysfunctional, and loot the Treasury by way of war - George was the single most successful president in the entire history of the country.

(snip)

So here's the funny part. I give you George W. Bush, speaking to Fox News on Thursday:

Former President George W. Bush, who before leaving office warned against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too early, told Fox News that America has since learned the "lesson" that Iraqis are not yet capable of providing for their own security.

"The Iraqi people obviously are going to have to make a decision as to whether or not they want to live in peace," the former president said. "They're not ready to do it on their own, and that's the lesson we've learned recently."

Bush, in 2007, had delivered a prescient warning about what might happen if U.S. troops withdrew too early. He said at the time this would risk "mass killings on a horrific scale" and potentially draw U.S. troops back into the country.

Asked Thursday how he knew, Bush said: "I know the nature of the enemy."


(snip)

Yes, the great sage, who knew all the way back in 2007 that abandoning the plan to make Iraq a permanent US military base, no matter how high the casualty lists grew, no matter the staggering cost, was a bad idea. Only Fox could make George W. Bush sound like Yoda.

MSNBC had an even cuter take: "Former President George W. Bush is pointing to the resurgence of violence in Iraq as validating his belief that American troops should have stayed in that war-torn country instead of withdrawing in 2011."

The same man who signed a deal with the Iraqi government in 2008 that required the withdrawal of American forces in 2011.

How do I know that? I know that because he gave a press conference to announce it on December 14th, 2008, which would have been just another press conference, except during this press conference, an Iraqi journalist named Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at Bush while roaring, "This is a farewell, you dog!"

(snip)

Someone is going to have to come up with a better term for "shameless." The word has been burned out completely by stupid people with blood on their hands who still somehow wind up on television.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26623-bush-flying-shoes-and-remembering-the-truth

An Open Letter to My Democratic Spammer



(Image: Pete, Politic365; Edited: EL / TO)

An Open Letter to My Democratic Spammer
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 03 October 2014

Are you, by chance, feeling a bit ragged around the edges? On the verge of disaster? Perhaps even a bit doomed?

Me, too!

I can't imagine why...

...oh, wait. I know exactly why. I looked at my email this week.

"TRAGIC Conclusion," read one.

"Terrible News (JUST NOW)," read another.

"CANCEL NOTICE," read another.

"we. will. fail." read another.

And another, just like those. And another. And another. And another.

It wasn't the end of the world, as it turns out. It was, in fact, the master plan of some fundraiser fuzzwit for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who decided the thing to do is to scream manically into every email address available using panic-riddled headlines designed to make you click them open, because Jesus, what if?

"Terrible News (JUST NOW)." Oh, no, what happened?

"CANCEL NOTICE." What didn't I pay for?

"TRAGIC Conclusion." Oh God, who died?

Probably 300 emails like this in my in-box since the weekend, one after the other prophesying calamity...unless I gave $5 to the Democrats.

Here's a memo to whoever came up with this particularly obnoxious fundraising tactic: You suck. I hope you get fired with such velocity that you can't even get a job drowning puppies in a kill shelter.

(snip)

If Democrats acted like Democrats, they might enjoy the same level of support from their own base...but instead, the people are presented with this eternally timid "Please Don't Hurt Me" coalition, afraid of the word "Liberal," and certainly addicted to the Wall Street/Defense/Petroleum money swelling their coffers. You ain't broke, despite that barrage of emails to the contrary.

You support fracking while giving lip-service to climate change? You want Keystone XL approved, despite the fact that it will run the world's dirtiest fuel through our breadbasket and over our main aquifer in a pipeline that is dead-bang guaranteed to leak? You endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement? You're satisfied with the barren lack of accounting meted to the Wall Street brigands who stole our future? You're down with a third war in Iraq?

Wait, you don't support all that? But you won't stand against it, because you're afraid of losing votes or campaign money?

My heroes.

A bunch of braniacs have crunched the numbers and concluded that young people, plus minority voters, plus women, plus old white racist Fox News viewers dying off, means the long-term electoral odds are in the Democrats' favor, and gee wilikers, isn't that nifty news for the party in 30 years...except for the millions of people who will take a deep beating between then and now, and that's only if the party's institutional cowardice and greed doesn't let the oligarchs buy out the whole process from soup to nuts in the meantime.

The police are being weaponized and militarized from coast to coast, making even mild street protest a potentially lethal exercise. The Supreme Court doesn't believe women should have control of their own bodies. There are parts of the country where the tapwater is flammable. The US is spending billions of dollars to bomb the weapons it spent billions of dollars on just a few years ago.

And from the alleged "liberal" party? Silence, acquiescence, and that's only if they're not too busy cashing a check.

Come November, if the Democrats wind up flopping and flailing for an explanation as to why they got routed at the polls, let me offer a succinct reply: You stand for nothing. You are the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters. Everyone expects you to go down to defeat, because you always lay down, because you are paid to do so.

It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way it is. When the midterms eat you alive, remember what I said. When you stand for nothing, you get nothing in return.

Write me an email about that.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26605-an-open-letter-to-my-democratic-spammer

An Open Letter To Fox News About "Boobs On The Ground"

An Open Letter To Fox News About "Boobs On The Ground"

Dear Mr. Bolling and Mr. Gutfeld,

We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for.

First, foremost, and most obvious to everyone other than yourselves, your remarks were immensely inappropriate. Your co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle was so right to call attention to an inspiring story of a woman shattering glass ceilings in a society where doing so is immeasurably difficult. We never heard an answer to her question: why did you feel so compelled to “ruin her thing?”

As it turns out, women have been flying combat aircraft since before either of you were born. Over 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew during World War II. Seeing as U.S. Army Air Forces Commander “Hap” Arnold said “Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,” we can probably guess he thought their parking was adequate. The WASP legacy reaches into the present day; on 9/11, then Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney scrambled her F-16. Completely unarmed, she was ready to lay down her own life to prevent further devastating attacks on American soil.

(snip)

We issue an apology on your behalf to Major Al Mansouri knowing that anything your producers force you to say will be contrived and insincere. Major, we’re sincerely sorry for the rudeness; clearly, these boys don’t take your service seriously, but we and the rest of the American public do.

Very Respectfully,

Michael Breen, U.S. Army

Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy

Kristen Rouse, U.S. National Guard

Andrea Marr, U.S. Navy

Kristen Kavanaugh, U.S. Navy

Richard Wheeler, U.S. Army

Leo Cruz, U.S. Navy

Aryanna Hunter, U.S. Army

Geoff Orazem U.S. Marine Corps

Scott Cheney-Peters, U.S. Navy

Jonathan Murray, U.S. Marine Corps

Timothy Kudo, U.S. Marine Corps

Welton Chang, U.S. Army

Michael Smith, U.S. Army

Gordon Griffin, U.S. Marine Corps

Kelsey Campbell, U.S. Air Force

Matt Runyon, U.S. Army

Richard Weir, U.S. Marine Corps

Scott Holcomb, U.S. Army

Jon Gensler, U.S. Army

Erik Brine, U.S. Air Froce

Rob Miller, U.S. Marine Corps

Josh Weinberg, U.S. Army

John Wagner, U.S. Air Force

Terron Sims II, U.S. Army

Sonia Fernandez, U.S. Marine Corps

Dan Hartnett, U.S. Army

Dan Futrell, U.S. Army

John Margolick, U.S. Marine Corps

Daniel Savage, U.S. Army

Matt Pelak, U.S. Army,

LaRue Robinson, U.S. Army

Anthony Woods, U.S Army

Margot Beausey, U.S. Navy

Dustin Cathcart, U.S. Army

Kayla Williams, U.S. Army

Dan Espinal, U.S. Army

Jonathan Hopkins, U.S. Army

Tony Johnson, U.S. Navy

Andy Moore, U.S. Army

Kevin Johnson, U.S. Army

Brett Hunt, U.S. Army

Russell Galeti, U.S. Army

Gail Harris, U.S. Navy

Katelyn Geary van Dam, U.S. Marine Corps

Mick Crnkovich, U.S. Army

Jonathan Freeman, U.S. Army

Chris Finan, U.S. Air Force

Robert Mishev, U.S. Air Force

Matt Zeller, U.S. Army

William Allen, U.S. Marine Corps

Sharmistha Mohpatra, U.S. Army

Adam Tiffen, U.S. Army

Alex Cornell du Houx, U.S. Navy

Jason Cain, U.S. Army

Rob Bracknell, U.S. Marine Corps

Karen Courington, U.S. Air Force

Lach Litwer, U.S. Army

Andrew Borene, U.S. Marine Corps

The letter in full: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/an-open-letter-to-fox-news

...and for some spicy hot sauce on the side, here is Jon Stewart addressing the issue in a truly transcendent rant:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/jon-stewart-fox-news-latte-salute_n_5886396.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063
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