Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach Richard Cheney

The Prarie Weather is shrill:

Prairie Weather: "I'll answer you with three words: the Vice President.": The Democratic panel hearing... convened to hear from Lawrence Wilkerson, Paul Pillar, Carl Ford and other high ranking military and intelligence analysts.... Representative Walter Jones, described by Corn as "a hawkish Republican from North Carolina," sat in on the hearings and asked what Corn describes as the most potent and unexpected question.

So after all this, Representative Jones, who had voted to grant Bush the authority to invade Iraq, had a question. He noted that "my heart has ached ever since I found out that the intelligence... was flawed and possibly manipulated." He said that he had written letters to relatives of every American soldier who has died in Iraq--8000 letters so far. "What perplexes me," he said, "is how in the world could [intelligence] professionals see what was happening and nobody speak out?"... The panelists did not get a chance to respond to Jones, for he kept on talking--right over that query--and he segued to another subject, asking how it could be that the neoconservative hawks in the Bush administration gained so much power and had more influence than "you, the professionals."

Wilkerson fielded the question, first noting that as a Republican he was "embarrassed" that Jones was the only GOPer to attend.... Then Wilkerson replied, "I'll answer you with three words: the vice president." That seemed to satisfy Jones. Neither he nor Wilkerson mentioned the two-word answer: the president.

We know that now. We know the intelligence professionals did speak out. We know that Bush separated himself from reality. We know that Dick Cheney took over responsibility and even shut the President out of some communications. And if we need any further evidence of just how and why this all played out, who stopped us from anticipating and avoiding 9/11, who got us into Iraq, Ron Suskind's "One Percent Doctrine" has pretty much the whole story.

Why and how the deliberate, well-calculated failures -- not of the intelligence professionals but of the two top elected officials -- are not (yet) the subjects of prosecution is something I've yet to grasp.

A Hearty Welcome from the Reality-Based Community to Ben Stein!

Ben Stein seems... well, shrill. I hereby offer him a commission as lieutenant colonel commanding the 17th Keyboarding Battalion (Paul Krugman's Own), the "Fighting Fiscal Conservatives," with a cross appointment as Junior Sub-Deacon Shoggoth in the Order of the Shrill:

Note to the New Treasury Secretary: It's Time to Raise Taxes - New York Times: By BEN STEIN: You almost certainly don't remember little me... you were an intense and clearly brilliant young man. Since then, time has proven you to be a brilliant and intense middle-aged man.... But now you have your work cut out for you as Treasury secretary. You are facing what is, in many ways, the most dangerous economic future since the Depression. Danger is coming on many fronts, only dimly seen by the powers that be in Washington....

Can you imagine, Mr. Paulson, what it will mean to Americans in terms of our currency's value, in terms of the interest we will have to pay to foreign creditors, if our bonds reach junk status? Can you imagine just how crippling a burden this will be on taxpayers?

It gets worse. The annual trade deficit with the rest of the world is approaching $1 trillion.... [W]e have to transfer ownership of roughly $1 trillion of our assets to foreigners every year to cover our excess of international purchases over sales. But the total worth of all the assets in the United States is not greatly more than $50 trillion.... [W]e are basically transferring the value of an average of one of our 50 states to foreign investors every year....

Right now, inflation is moving out of the Federal Reserve's comfort zone.... To raise rates enough to slow down our economy and thus bring down commodity prices amid skyrocketing demand in developing economies is certainly not easy. To do this correctly, you'd need to be a brain surgeon of monetary policy and a cardiac ace of fiscal policy. In other words, there is a great, great deal to be worried about.

May I respectfully suggest that in this environment, ending the estate tax is not a major sensible priority? May I suggest that having the lowest taxes in 65 years on high-income taxpayers is not really as prudent as it might be if we were not running stupendous deficits, with far worse in the future?

I know you are a Republican, and so am I. Now and then, scornful fellow Republicans ask me what kind of Republican I am, since I'm for higher taxes on the rich. I tell them that I am an Eisenhower Republican, the kind who wants to leave a healthier America to posterity. That includes an economy not headed for the status of a banana republic's economy.

Now, I know that a truly great man, Ronald Wilson Reagan, when asked if he were not worried that his tax cuts would burden posterity with a heavy weight, supposedly asked, "What has posterity ever done for me?" Those of us with teenage children certainly know what he meant. But the problem is no longer quite as funny...

Arthur Silber Is Shrill

Arthur Silber has long been one of the most honored and respected members of the Order of the Shrill. Many have felt the awesome power of his vicious parrot-like beak:

Once Upon a Time...: Nuking the "Treasonous Press": I Am the State: And that, my friends, is where we are in this, the Sixth Glorious Year of the Reign of Our Noble King, George the Fool. He's not using all his absolute powers -- not yet. But wait until the next attack within our own borders, which our enlightened elite assures us is inevitable. Then it may be dictatorship all the way. George Bush is the State. They are one and the same. And you will shut up and obey -- or else. I'm sure you can fill in the details on your own.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Jim Henley and Alan Olmstead Are Really Shrill This Evening

Jim Henley:

Unqualified Offerings: Cartoon Bullseyes: Former Clintonites Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry made a big splash today with their article advocating a preemptive strike against the site of North Korea's "reported" planned Taepodong-2 missile test.... Democrats sounding "tough" and incoherent at the same time. It's bottomlessly stupid as advice.... First, the incoherence... Carter and Perry criticise the Bush Administration for promulgating a doctrine of "preemption," then turn around and advocate - preemption!

Second, an apology/bleg: I was convinced some famous politician or general had said something likening starting a war to "opening a door where you don't know what's on the other side.... Carter and Perry are just amazingly awesomely sure how everyone with an interest in the Korea venture will react, from our enemy to its neighbors.... Surely! He knows! Carter and Perry know he knows! Perhaps he knows they know he knows!

There is nothing whatsoever uncertain about this war business. I personally believe that a swift strike through the Low Countries will knock France out of action so I can concentrate my forces against the Czar. I believe that once I get my army across this creek near Manassas Junction secession will crumble; you will probably want to come out and watch. I%u2019m damned certain that the way to preserve the Hapsburg Empire is to show the freaking Serbs we won%u2019t put up with their terrorist monkey business. I think I should be able to conquer Canada in a few months. I think that the time to grab the Fao Penninsula is now, while Iran is distracted and weak. And I know, just know, that there%u2019s no history of ethnic strife in Iraq like there is in the Balkans.

But even I don't know as much as Carter and Perry. They are as clearsighted as they are toughminded....

Congratulations, America. You've been living with the threat of "nuclear blackmail" by the Democratic People's Republic of Creepy Street Scenes for a couple of years now. You may recall living with the immensely greater threats of nuclear blackmail by the Soviet Union and the Red China for decades before that. It happens. It happened again. I don't like it: North Korea's a creepy place run by a creep. But it's a real country. The one Carter and Perry et al are discussing, that is so crazy it might nuke the United States without provocation but so sane it won't retaliate with provocation, is a flimsy construct, thin and schematic as a range target...

Andrew Olmstead:

Andrew Olmsted dot com: The Kingdom of Idiots: When Kevin Drum asked for thoughts on taking out the North Korean missile site before they could test their Taepondong-2 missile, I was honestly puzzled, although I played along. Who would seriously advocate an attack on North Korea while we are deeply embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan and people are talking about the threat of war with Iran? Silly me. This morning I see that Ashton Carter and William Perry (Secretary of Defense for President Clinton) have an opinion piece advocating a preemptive strike on North Korea's missile site to prevent them from testing a long-range ballistic missile. And in the back of my mind I hear George Costanza's voice: 'You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!'

Actually, a more apt quote would be Ambassdor Londo Mollari from the sci-fi series Babylon 5: "Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts." I think it's reasonable to suggest that provoking a fight with North Korea right now would put us well into the lead for the title of King of the Idiots....

I don't like the idea of a North Korea with nuclear missiles. But then, I'm not fond of the idea of China or Russia with nuclear missiles, either, but it's an imperfect world. Launching an attack on North Korea opens up too many potentially disastrous outcomes for it to be a viable plan.... [L]iving with a nuclear North Korea seems like the least bad outcome available to us at the moment.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Andrew Sullivan: Shriller Than Ever

We read:

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: I trusted this president after 9/11.... [T]he president lied to the people of this country, and then tortured a mentally ill man for information he didn't have; and covered his tracks.... This shallow, monstrous, weak, and petty man is still the president. God help us.

And we recall November 11, 2001, when Sullivan talked of: - Daily Dish: revulsion at Paul Krugman's increasingly hysterical attacks on the good faith of this administration...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Greenwald Fhtagn! Greenwald Fhtagn!! GREENWALD FHTAGN!!!

Glenn Greenwald is shrill:

Letting Zarqawi go -- a pathological refusal to accept responsibility: by Glenn Greenwald: Zarqawi was able to spend the last three years terrorizing, exploding and beheading people only because the Bush administration indefensibly decided, back in 2002, that it would refrain from "bringing him to justice" when it indisputably had the chance to do so. It has been reported that the motive for the administration's decision to allow Zarqawi to remain free was that his presence in Iraq bolstered their pre-war claim of an Iraq-terrorist connection.

This rather grim and unflattering picture of the administration's conduct in letting Zarqawi remain free -- one which obviously ought to undercut, if not destroy, the recycled heroic Bush mythology -- has prompted Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Adam Whitehas, in yesterday's online Weekly Standard, to write this amazingly blame-shifting justification for the administration's refusal to get Zarqawi three years ago when they could have.

According to Gartenstein-Ross and Whitehas, the administration's timidity is all the fault of Senate Democrats, France and The New York Times... the administration knew that they would be criticized by this all-powerful confederation if they acted against Zarqawi.... [It] reads like a fear-crazed 10-year-old child who got caught doing something very wrong and then desperately and frantically tries to blame someone else -- anyone else -- in order to avoid having to accept blame himself....

What is going on here is as transparent as it is important. There is no political faction which played a greater role in leading this country to invade Iraq than the neoconservatives at The Weekly Standard and its 9/11-exploiting allies and affiliates, exemplified by the Gerard Group, of which Gartenstein-Ross is a "senior consultant." Along with the ideologues in the administration, these are the individuals responsible for leading the U.S. to invade Iraq. The failures and disasters it has spawned are their doing. And when all is said and done, it will be time to assign guilt and blame to those responsible, and The Weekly Standard and their neoconservative allies and supporters are petrified -- rightfully so -- that responsibility for this war will be pinned to their foreheads forever.

As I have documented before, these most vocal war supporters are pursuing the only course... open to them... searching around for others to blame. It is the media's fault. It is Democrats' fault. Or it's all the fault of France, Kofi Annan, international law scholars, and all of those other uber-powerful forces who undermined the United States and prevented our glorious war plans from succeeding. It's often even the fault of the timid and cowardly Generals who run our military. Even when our Commander-in-Chief expressly decided not to take action against Zarqawi when he could have, it's still everyone's fault except for his.

As I wrote back in February when the President's followers rolled out their campaign in earnest to blame the media and "liberals" for the failure of their war fantasies:

Virtually every prediction the President and his followers made about this war has proven to be false, while virtually every prediction made by war opponents has proven to be true. The President and his followers controlled every part of this war with an iron fist, ignoring anything which their political opponents said and insisting on the right to exert full-scale, undiluted control over it. And now it has failed. And it’s everyone’s fault except theirs.

The Weekly Standard obviously recognizes that the real story in the Zarqawi killing is not that the Bush administration heroically killed him in 2006 but that it could have, but chose not to, eliminate him in 2002. And it made that decision for the basest and most corrupt of reasons. It was hell-bent on invading Iraq no matter the circumstances, and it needed Zarqawi's presence in Iraq to help "prove" the extremely precarious if not non-existent connection between Iraq and international terrorism....

The... U.S. repeatedly bombed targets inside Iraq throughout 2002 and 2003 prior to the invasion.... We were undertaking an intense air campaign inside Iraq for almost a full year prior to the invasion. What possible excuse is there for not having one of those bombs land on Zarqawi?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Zalmay Khalilzad Leads the Order in Evensong Tonight

Evensong tonight at Order of the Shrill headquarters will be led by the newest of our Greater Shoggoths, Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, who reacts to George W. Bush's claims that:

I was impressed with [Malaki] the [new] Prime Minister [of Iraq], the team he has assembled, and the plan he has set for his government. I appreciate his determination, and the determination of his Cabinet, to make his agenda work. I told them that the future of Iraq is in their hands. And I told them that America is a nation that keeps its word, and America will stand with them as we work toward our shared goal: a free Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. By seizing this moment of opportunity, we will defeat our common enemies and build a lasting democracy in the heart of the Middle East, and that will make Americans, Iraqis, and the world more secure.

by descending into shrill unholy madness:

R 121430Z 06


E.O. 122956: N/A
SUBJECT: Snapshots from the Office: Public Affairs Staff Show Strains of Social Discord


  1. (SBU) Beginning in March, and picking up in mid-May, Iraqi staff in the Public Affairs section have complained that Islamist and/or militia groups have been negativelyy affecting their daily routine. Harassment over proper dress and habits has been increasingly pervasive. They also report that power cuts and fuel prices have diminished their quality of life. Conditions vary by neighborhood, but even upscale neighborhoods such as Mansur have visibly deteriorated.

  2. (SBU) The Public Affairs Office has 9 local Iraqi employees. Two of our female employees report stepped up harassment beginning in mid-May. One, a Shiite who favors Western clothing, was advised by an unknown woman in her upscale Shiite/Christian Baghdad neighborhood to wear a veil and not to drive her own car. Indeed, she said, some groups are pushing women to cover even their faces, a step not taken in Iran even at its most conservative.

  3. (SBU) Another, a Sunni, said that people in her middle-class neighborhood are harassing women and telling them to cover up and stop using cell phones (suspected channel to licentious relationships with men). She said that the taxi driver who brings her every day to the green zone checkpoint has told her he cannot let her ride unless she wears a headcover. A female in the PAS cultural section is now wearing a full abaya after receiving direct threats in May. She says her neighborhood, Adhamiya, is no longer permissive if she is not clad so modestly.

  4. (SBU) These women say they cannot identify the groups that are pressuring them; many times, the cautions come from other women, sometimes from men who they say could be Sunni or Shiite, but appear conservative.They also tell us that some ministries, notably the Sadrist controlled Ministry of Transportation, have been forcing females to wear the hijab at work.

  5. (SBU) Staff members have reported that it is now dangerous for men to wear shorts in public; they no longer allow their children to play outside in shorts. People who wear jeans in public have coe under attack from what staff members describe as Wahabis and Sadrists.

  6. (SBU) One colleague beseeched us to weigh in to help a neighbor who was uprooted in May from her home of 30 years, on the pretense of application of some long-disused law that allows owners to evict tenants after 14 years. The woman, who is a Fayli Kurd, says she has nowhere to go, no other home, but the courts give them no recourse to this assertion of power. Such uprootings may be a response ny mew Shiite government authorities to similar actions against Arabs by Kurds in other parts of Iraq. (NOTE: An Arab newspaper editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and their militias are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq. One editor told us that the KDP is now planning to set up tent cities in Irbil, to house Kurds being evicted from Baghdad.)

  7. Temperatures in Baghdad have already reached 115 degrees. Employees all confirm that by the last week of May, they were getting one hour of power for every six hours without. That was only about four hours of power a day for the city. By early June, the situation had improved slightly. In Hai al Shaab, power has recently improved from one in six to one in three hours. Other staff report similar variances. Central Baghdad neighborhood Bab al Mu'atham has had no city power for over a month. Areas near hospitals, political party headquarters, and the green zone have the best supply, in some cases reaching 24 hours. One staff member reported that a friend lives in a building that houses a new minister; within 24 hours of his appointment, her building had city power 24 hours a day.

  8. (SBU) All employees supplement city power with service contracted with neighborhood genarator hookups that they pay for monthly. One employee pays 6500 ID per ampere to get 10 amperes per month (75,000 ID = USD 50/month). For this, her family gets 6 hours power per day, with service ending at 2 am. Another employee pays 9000 ID per ampere to get 10 amperes per month (90,000 = USD 60). For this, his family gets 8 hours per day, with service running until 5 am.

  9. (SBU) Fuel lines have also taxed our staff. One employee told us May 29 that he had spent 12 hours on his day off (Saturday) waiting to get gas. Another staff member confirmed that shortages were so dire, prices o the black market in much of Baghdad were now above 1,000 Iraqi dinars per liter (the official, subsidized price is 250 ID).

  10. (SBU) One employee informed us in March that his brother in law had been kidnapped. The man was eventually released, but this caused enormous emotional distress to the entire family. One employee, a Sunni Kurd, received an indirect threat to her life in April. She took extended leave, and by May, relocated abroad with her family.

  11. (SBU) In April, employees began reporting a change in demeanor of guards at the green zone checkpoints. They seemed to be more militia-like, in some cases seemingly taunting. One employee asked us to explore getting her press credentials because guards had held her embassy badge up and proclaimed loudly to nearby passers-by "Embassy" as she entered. Such information is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people.

  12. (SBU) Employees all share a common tale of their lives: of nine employees in March, only four had family members who knew they worked at the embassy. That makes it difficult for them and for us. Iraqi colleagues called after hours often speak Arabic as an indication they cannot speak openly in English.

  13. (SBU) We cannot call employees in on weekends or holidays without blowing their "cover." Likewise, they have been unavailable during multiple security closures imposed by the government since February. A Sunni Arab female employee tells us that family pressures and the inability to share details of her employment is very tough; she told her family she was in Jordan when we sent her on training to the U.S. in February. Mounting criticisms of the U.S. at home among family members also makes her life difficult. She told us in mid-June that most of her family believes the U.S. -- which is widely perceived as fully controlling the country and tolerating the malaise -- is punishing populations as Saddam did (but with Sunnis and very poor Shiites now at the bottom of the list). Otherwise, she says, the allocation of power and security would not be so arbitrary.

  14. (SBU) Some of our staff do not take home their American cell phones, as this makes them a target. Planning for their own possible abduction, they use code names for friends and colleagues and contacts entered into Iraq cell phones. For at least six months, we have not been able to use any local staff members for translation at on-camera press events.

  15. (SBU) More recently, we have begun shredding documents printed out that show local staff surnames. In March, a few staff members approached us to ask what provisions would we make for them if we evacuate.

  16. (SBU) Ethnic and sectarian faultlines are also becoming part of the daily media fare in the country. One Shiite employee told us in late May that she can no longer watch TV news with her mother, who is a Sunni, because her mother blamed all government failings on the fact that Shiites are in charge. Many of the employee's immediate family members, including her father, one sister, and a brother, left Iraq years ago. This month, another sister is departing for Egypt, as she images the future here is too bleak.

  17. (SBU) Against this backdrop of frayed social networks, tension and moodiness have risen. One Shiite made disparaging comments about the Sunni caliph Othman which angered a Kurd. A Sunni Arab female apparently insulted a Shiite female colleague by criticizing he overly liberal dress. One colleague told us he feels "defeated" by circumstances, citing the example of being unable to help his two year old son who has asthma and cannot sleep in the stifling heat.

  18. (SBU) Another employee tells us that life outside the Green Zone has become "emotionally draining." He lives in a mostly Shiite area and claims to attend a funeral "every evening." He, like other local employees, is financially responsible for his immediate and extended families. He revealed that "the burden of responsibility; new stress coming from social circles who increasingl disapprove of the coalition presence, and everyday threats weigh very heavily." This employee became extremely agitated in late May at website reports of an abduction of an Iraqi working with MNFI, whose expired Embassy and MNFI badges were posted on the website.

  19. (SBU) Staff members say they daily assess how to move safely in public. Often, if they must travel outside their own neighborhoods, they adopt the clothing, language, and traits of the area. In Jadriya, for example, one needs to conform to the SCIRI/Badr ethic; in Yusufiya, a strict Sunni conservative dress code has taken hold. Adhamiya and Salihiya, controlled by the secular Ministry of Defense, and not conservative. Moving inconspicuously in Sadr City requires Shiite conservative dress and a particular lingo. Once-upscale Mansur district, near the Green Zone, according to one employee, by early June was an "unrecognizable ghost town."

  20. (SBU) Since Samarra, Baghdadis have honed these survival skills. Vocabulary has shifted to reflect new behavior. Our staff -- and our contacts -- have become adept in modifying behavior to avoid "Alasas," informants who keep an eye out for "outsiders" in neighborhoods. The Alasa mentality is becoming entrenched as Iraqi security forces fail to gain public confidence.

  21. (SBU) Our staff report that security and services are being rerouted through "local providers" whose affiliations are vague. As noted above, those who are admonishing citizens on their dress are not known to the residents. Neighborhood power providers are no well known either, nor is it clear how they avoid robbery or targeting. Personal safety depends on good relations with the "neighborhood" governments, who barricade streets and ward off outsiders. The central government, our staff says, is not relevant; even local mukhtars have been displaced or coopted by militias. People no longer trust most neighbors.

  22. (SBU) A resident of upscale Shiite/Christian Karrada district told us that "outsiders" have moved in and now control the local mukhtars, one of whom now has cows and goats grazing in the streets. When she expressed her concern at the dereliction, he told her to butt out.

  23. (SBU) Although our staff retain a professional demeanor, strains are apparent. We see that their personal fears are reinforcing divisive sectarian or ethnic channels, despite talk of reconciliation by officials. Employees are apprehensive enough that we fear they may exaggerate developments or steer us towards news that comports with their own worldview. Objectivity, civility, and logic that make for a functional workplace may falter if social pressures outside the Green Zone don't abate.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao Is Shrill!!

Yes, she is a shrill unbalanced critic of George W. Bush. The Carpetbagger Report reports from its carpetbag:

Carpetbagger Report: From time to time, it's helpful to look back and see how the administration performs by its own standards. In February 2004, for example, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was on CNN defending the Bush administration's economic policies. When Judy Woodruff noted the president's poor record on job creation, Chao suggested there's only one number that matters.

Woodruff: I want to cite the one economic analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston. He said, these are his words, quote, "very disappointing; we're not getting the jobs to replace the stimulus in the economy which will fade once the first quarter ends." Another economist said, "It's the weakest job-creation rate relative to economic growth on record."

Chao: Well, the stock market is, after all, the final arbiter.

In retrospect, Chao may have wanted to pick a different standard of measurement, because if the stock market is "the final arbiter," Bush has some explaining to do. Yesterday, the Dow Jones closed at 10,706.14. On the day Bush was sworn into office in January 2001, the Dow Jones stood at 10,732.46. In other words, after five-and-a-half years of Bush's presidency and a series of budget-busting tax cuts, the stock market has a cumulative gain of negative 26 points.

Under Reagan, the Dow went up 148%. Under Clinton, it grew 187%. After five-and-a-half years, Bush isn't quite breaking even. Sure, Republican administrations have consistently under-performed Democratic administrations on stock market growth, but who would have guessed that nearly five years after Bush took office, the Dow wouldn't have grown at all?

Rudolph Giuliani Is Shrill!!

Daniel Gross reports that Rudolph Giuliani is now a shrill unbalanced critic of George W. Bush:

Daniel Gross: June 11, 2006 - June 17, 2006 Archives: Look who is railing against the administration's failure to develop anything resembling a plan to deal with the nation's energy challenges. Why it's that well-known leftist Rudolph Giuliani. Patrick Healy reports in the New York Times

Challenging fellow Republicans in Washington, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that the Bush administration lacked an energy policy and that greater reliance on nuclear power, ethanol-based fuels and hybrid vehicles was more realistic than President Bush's goal of independence from foreign energy sources.

Mr. Giuliani, who is considering a presidential bid in 2008, did not criticize Mr. Bush by name, and some of his ideas reflected Republican orthodoxy about increasing energy supply. Yet in a speech to conservative thinkers from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Mr. Giuliani implicitly accused the White House of doing little to expand energy sources. Afterward, too, he expressed concern about global warming, saying that "everyone accepts the fact that it's happening and it has an impact."

"I can't imagine how you can achieve anything in government without a plan," he said in his remarks at the Princeton Club, referring to the nation's long-range energy needs. "This is an area where we haven't had a plan in a very, very long time."

It's actually a brilliant move: he burnishes his image as an independent while indirectly shilling for clients. Giuliani's lobbying firm, Healy notes, "advises energy companeis and a liquefied natural gas project on Long Island."

Monday, June 12, 2006

John Derbyshire Is Shrill!!!

Is there nobody not on the immediate White House payroll who is not shrill? For now John Derbyshire of National Review is a shrill unholy critic of George W. Bush. We have proof:

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Derbyshire R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Derbyshire R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Derbyshire R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Derbyshire fhtagn!! DERBYSHIRE FHTAGN!!!!

John Derbyshire on Iraq on National Review Online: Did I support the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Yes I did. Do I support the continuing effort to get civil society going in Iraq? No I don’t, and haven’t for over two years.... Let’s start from the fact that the whole thing, taken in one piece—-attack plus follow-up nation--building effort—has been a huge negative for the USA. Is there anyone, really, who is glad we did it? Most of my NR colleagues are still talking up the administration’s Iraq policy. It’s hard not to think, though, that if wired up to a polygraph and asked the question: “Supposing you could wind the movie back to early 2003, would you still attack Iraq?” any affirmative answers would have those old needles a-jumping and a-skipping all over the graph paper.

We are stuck there in that wretched place with no way out that would not involve massive loss of geostrategic face. Getting on for 3,000 of our troops have been killed, and close to 20,000 maimed. We’ve spent untold billions of dollars. For what? One reason I supported the initial attack, and the destruction of the Saddam regime, was that I hoped it would serve as an example, deliver a psychic shock to the whole region.... As it is, the shock value has all been frittered away.... [W]e are perceived as a soft and foolish nation, that squanders its victories and permits its mighty military power to be held to standoff by teenagers with homemade bombs—-that lets crooks and bandits tie it down, Gulliver-like, with a thousand little threads of blackmail, trickery, lies, and petty violence.

Just ask yourself: Given that Iran is the real looming threat in that region, are we better placed now to deal with that threat than we would have been absent an Iraq war? If we could ask President Ahmadinejad whether he thinks we are better placed, what would his honest answer be?

We are not controlling events in Iraq. Events in Iraq are controlling us. We are the puppet; the street gangs of Baghdad and Basra are the puppet-masters, aided and abetted by an unsavory assortment of confidence men, bazaar traders, scheming clerics, ethnic front men, and Iranian agents. With all our wealth and power and idealism, we have submitted to become the plaything of a rabble, and a Middle Eastern rabble at that. Instead of rubbling, we have ourselves been rabbled. The lazy-minded evangelico-romanticism of George W. Bush, the bureaucratic will to power of Donald Rumsfeld, the avuncular condescension of Dick Cheney, and the reflexive military deference of Colin Powell combined to get us into a situation we never wanted to be in, a situation no self-respecting nation ought to be in, a situation we don’t know how to get out of. It’s not inconceivable that, with a run of sheer good luck, we might yet escape without too much egg on our faces, but it’s not likely. The place we are at is surely not a place anyone in 2003 wanted us to be at—-not even Vic Davis Hanson.

Since the Iraq war was obviously a gross blunder, is it time for those of us who cheered on the war to offer some kind of apology?... For those of us down at the bottom of the pundit pecking order, the stakes aren’t so high. I, at any rate, am willing to eat some crow and say: I wish I had never given any support to this fool war. I am spared major embarrassment not only by the slightness of my own reputation, as by the fact that while I supported the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of the regime, I never thought much of the nation-building exercise that followed. It took me a while to figure out that the administration actually believed all the guff about “establishing democracy in the Middle East,” but once it had sunk in, and the party enthusiasms of the 2004 election season had subsided, I was calling for withdrawal....

My fault was in not grasping the scale of the administration’s multiculturalist ambitions. (Of which, to be fair to them, they had given plenty of hints, and even one or two frank declarations of intent.) George W. Bush believes that, to borrow and adjust a line from the colonel in Full Metal Jacket: “Inside every Middle East Muslim there is an American trying to get out”...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Paul Bass of The Hartford Courant Is Shrill!

Bass Fhtagn!!

Connecticut News from The Hartford Courant ::: State, Regions, & Towns On Meanwhile, in ads and public statements, Lieberman portrays himself as Regular Joe, a fighter for the little guy, in touch with blue-state Connecticut and mainstream Democrats on all issues except Iraq. And somehow we - not just Lieberman - keep a straight face, as if he hadn't just spent 18 years helping Republicans hijack the Constitution and pick on little guy after little guy.

The Bush administration values Joe Lieberman because he has been a crucial ally in efforts to free Enron-style corporate crooks from regulation, transfer wealth to the wealthy, hound gays, trample on the rights of government critics and sacrifice the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis to dishonest, dangerous military adventurism....

Watching Lieberman and Lamont these past few weeks, I had to wonder: Am I the one with amnesia? So I went up to the attic and pulled out my Lieberman file, with clippings and documents collected from covering him during his three terms in Washington. It was true. My memory was faulty. I had remembered that, out of the eye of voters back home, Lieberman developed working alliances with the most hypocritical and dangerous right-wingnuts like Ralph Reed and Charles Murray and Bill Bennett. But I had forgotten just how extensive a record he had accumulated.

I had forgotten how he played the leading role in 1993 to thwart Democrats who tried to close loopholes allowing companies to cook the books on millions of dollars of stock options. Thus began the regulatory abandonment that spawned Enron and its sibling rip-offs. I had forgotten how that same year, Lieberman joined with Republican Sen. Alphonse M. D'Amato of New York and against Democrats to "work the cloakrooms" of the Senate, in the words of a news account, to "line up unanimous support so that a tax break eagerly sought by the real estate industry could be passed without senators having to vote on the record."

How many Connecticut Democrats remember that their senator was one of only two Democrats who voted with Republicans in 1995 to kill a lobbyist-gift ban? Or that he called affirmative action "un-American?" Or that in August 1994 he voted in favor of a proposal by Republican Jesse Helms to cut off all federal money from schools that offer counseling to suicidal gay teens by referring them to gay support groups or in any way suggesting it's OK to be gay? Or that Gov. John Rowland and Lieberman had the same fundraiser, Michael Lewan, raising the same campaign cash from the same fat cats, because, as Lewan told the Courant, "they're two like-minded guys?"

Did most Connecticut Democrats even know that Lieberman helped Lynne Cheney found a McCarthy-style group called the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which hounded liberal university professors for criticizing American foreign policy, including the president of Wesleyan University? No wonder Lieberman could vote to confirm an attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, who wrote the legal opinion excusing torture. Most recently, Gonzalez threatened to start prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information in order to silence government critics. But that was weeks ago. The new Fightin' Joe is on our side. A real Democrat.

Now it's true that Lieberman earns high marks on Democratic interest group "report cards." That's because he plays a shell game in which liberal interest groups are complicit. He gets the "right" mark for voting against Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, for instance. But he gives the Bush administration the vote it needs to make Alito a judge, by voting to stop a filibuster. Similarly, he held back on voting for Clarence Thomas's nomination until the first Bush administration saw it had the votes. Then Lieberman could safely vote against Thomas and earn the "right" grade.

It's fine for Lieberman to join Republicans in ideological arguments. He does that a lot for someone still calling himself a Democrat. And when he can publicly excoriate President Clinton for having sex with an intern - then hold back on President Bush's immoral lying about Iraq and illegal spying on Americans - he steps over not just a party line, but an ethical line as well.

It's also true that Lieberman has acknowledged some errors. He told me in past interviews that he was wrong to vote with Helms on the gay-bashing proposal. He said he erred in joining the Cheney group. But such after-the-fact admissions ring hollow when he continues to oppose gay marriage, or when he accuses critics of the Bush administration's Iraq war of endangering national security.

Finally, it's true that Joe Lieberman is a genuinely nice person, a decent man. That has nothing to do with his record, with masquerading as a Connecticut Democrat while enlisting in a Republican assault on Americans' bedrock freedoms and norms of social justice. Good people do awful things when power tempts. In watching this senate race unfold, remembering that adage might help ward off the most dangerous effects of Connecticut's political amnesia.

Matthew Yglesias Is Shrill...

Matthew Yglesias is shrill, and has the courage of his convictions, or the convictions of his courage, or something:

Cause and Effect | TPMCafe: My thinking... has... become totally unmixed. I worry about the fates of the populations of, say, Iran and Venezuela. But realistically the most helpful thing I can do for Iranians and Venezuelans is use my platform as a pundit to discourage the United States from launching a war with the former country or mounting a coup in the latter country. Extravagant denunciations of the Iranian regime do much more to increase the odds of a war with Iran (bad for Iranians) than to boost the fortunes of Iranian democracy. Enhancing my own sense of self-righteousness is not a real value.

In Beinart's defense, he's not just advocating self-righteousness. His read of the situation is that in the wake of Iraq the balance of risks is such that it's more likely the United States will become unduly isolationist and unconcerned with the fate of the world than that it will act in an unduly aggressive manner around the world. Insofar as you think that's true, it likewise follows that more pundit-time spent denouncing would be a good thing.

But that strikes me as a bizarre assessment of the situation. Beinart and I are in more-or-less the same place substantively -- we were both for the Iraq War and have both concluded that we were badly mistaken about this -- but when I look around I see a world in which basically the entire GOP and a surprisingly large segment of the leading Democrats are too my right. Plenty of people inhabit a conceptual space to my left on national security issues, but I don't see any circumstances under which they're going to achieve political power in the foreseeable future. I worry about the people running the country, and about those Democrats who don't seem to offer a seriously different view of how the country's foreign policy should be conducted. I worry that we're going to invade Iran, and I want to stop that from happening.

It may come to pass that we don't invade Iran and after a decade or two -- or maybe even less -- of peace, Iran emerges as a democracy. If that happens, Iranian dissidents may well look back at early 21st century America and decide that those pundits who spent a lot of time denouncing the Ayatollahs were the good guys and that I was one of the bad guys. I would be disappointed by that result, but would consider this a very good outcome all things considered. Right now the issue really is whether or not there's going to be a war, and it's worth focusing one's energies on that fact and not incidental matters.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

David Frum Is Shrill in a New Way!

David Frum is really shrill. His contempt for the U.S. military is such that he thinks U.S. arsenals and headquarters need to be protected by the Department of Homeland Security:

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online: A knowledgeable reader points out: 40% of the US chemical warfare arsenal is stored on a military base near Little Rock, Arkansas. Think that might be interesting to al Qaeda?... The DHS decision to shift anti-terror funds to places like Omaha, Nebraska, has excited a lot of controversy from northeastern bloggers who find it hard to imagine that the terrorists could find anything of interest to attack in the boring old Midwest. In response, a reader (affiliated with, shudder, a Midwestern university) writes:

You guys DO realize (I ask since most of you live in New York and DC and hence may be unfamilar with flyover land) that Omaha is the headquarters to the military's USSTRATCOM, which controls our strategic (i.e. nuclear) weapons? Not to mention be a major rail center--if someone wanted to cripple a military response to, say, an Iranian nuclear threat, it's a better target than NYC.

Friday, June 02, 2006

David Frum Is Shrill, But Not Shrill Enough...

Frum writes:

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online: May. 30, 2006: Paulson: He'll be a good man to have at the Treasury if there's a crisis. But his appointment raises the question: Why was he - or someone like him - not appointed in January 2005, when the president still possessed ample political capital and real opportunities to achieve results?

Why was Paulson - or someone like him - not appointed in January 2001?

Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan Are Shrill!

Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan are the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis... the William Cecil and Francis Walsingham... the Wilson and Lloyd George... the Roosevelt and Churchill... the Sacco and Venzetti... the Hiss and Chambers... of the Order of the Shrill:

The Washington Monthly: WORDS AND DEEDS....Andrew Sullivan is perplexed by President Bush's admittedly incomprehensible approach to the Iraq war:

We were told by the president that the Iraq war was the critical battle in the war on terror, an effort of enormous stakes that we couldn't possibly lose. And then he went to war with half the troops necessary to win, with no plan for the aftermath, and refused to budge even when this became obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain.

This is followed by a long string of "He says [blank]" accompanied by evidence that Bush rather obviously doesn't believe [blank].

But it's not just the Iraq war and it's not just Bush. It's the entire Republican leadership. For example, they claim to be worried about nuclear terrorism, but they pay virtually no serious attention to counterproliferation issues and have routinely opposed proposals for tighter port security.

They claim to be concerned about the future financial impact of Social Security deficits, but for short-term electoral reasons they have blithely passed tax cuts and a Medicare prescription bill that do far more damage to our future finances than Social Security ever will.

They claim that democracy promotion is the cornerstone of their foreign policy, but they've budgeted only a pittance for programs that might genuinely encourage democracy, and have applied serious public pressure only to regimes that are already administration bĂȘte-noirs for other reasons.

I could go on, but I'll spare you. The obvious conclusion is that they didn't think Iraq was the central front on the war on terror back in 2002. They don't think nuclear terrorism is really that big a deal. They aren't worried about long term finances. And they don't really care very much about democracy promotion. They just say these things because they're convenient.

It's this simple: these guys say a lot of stuff they don't believe. Their words are largely meaningless. There's no paradox, and there's really not much point in trying to make it more complicated.

Ia! Ia! Drum Fhtagn! Sullivan Fhtagn! Ia!

Greg Mankiw Is a Shrill Unbalanced Critic of Ben Bernanke

Greg Mankiw is a shrill unbalanced critic of Ben Bernanke:

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Big Blunder from Bernanke?: I think I may have identified Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's most troubling misstep to date. Buried inside today's Wall Street Journal is this piece of news:

Greenspan's retirement disappoints A-list journalists and politicians in a way unrelated to economic performance. It ends the Fourth of July fireworks party that the erstwhile Federal Reserve chairman and wife Andrea Mitchell threw annually atop Fed building, overlooking Washington Monument.

I have a fond recollection of these events, which I shared with my family during my time in DC. I am shocked and dismayed by the suggestion that Ben is not continuing the tradition. The Fed terrace is too great a venue to see the fireworks to have this scarce resource go to waste.

Impeach Ben Bernanke! Impeach him now!

Glenn Hubbard Is Not Shrill

Glenn Hubbard is not shrill--just calmly critical, in a measured and sober way: - Former Bush Adviser Criticizes Drug Plan: R. Glenn Hubbard, former chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, says the Bush-backed expansion of Medicare to include prescription drugs was "unwise."

"The Medicare expansion without substantial reform of the system was unwise fiscal policy," Mr. Hubbard, now dean of Columbia University's business school, said in an online exchange sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. "The current Social Security and Medicare systems are on an unsustainable path," Mr. Hubbard said in the exchange with Robert Reich, a Brandeis University professor who served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. "In both cases, sound fiscal reform should involve slower benefit growth for high-income households. In addition, fiscal reform for Medicare must be accompanied by reform of health-care markets."...

Mr. Hubbard was chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers from February 2001 until March 2003, where he advised President Bush on economic, tax and budget policy, international finance and health care, among other issues.

He's not shrill. That's OK. We'll still save him a lobster at the 4th of July ShillBQ.

Bill O'Reilly Has Driven Keith Olbermann Mad!

Olbermann Fhtagn!! Olberman Fhtagn!!

Olbermann on O'Reilly and Wesley Clark transcript: Abraham Lincoln did not shoot John Wilkes Booth...

"Titanic" did not sink a North Atlantic iceberg...

And Fox News is neither fair nor balanced.

These are simple historical facts -- intelligible to all adults, most children, and some of your more discerning domesticated animals.

But not, as the third story on the Countdown proves yet again... not to Billo.

The guilty pleasure offered by the existence of Bill O'Reilly is simple, and understandable.

99 times out of a hundred when we belly up to the Billo bar of bluster... nearly every time we partake of the movable Falafel Feast, he serves us nothing but comedy.

Farce, slapstick, unconscious self-mutilation -- the Sideshow Bob of commentators, forever stepping on the same rake, forever muttering the same grunt of inarticulate surrender, forever resuming the circle that will take him back to the same rake. The Sisyphus of morons, if you will.

But this is the 100th time out of 100.

It is not funny at all.

Bill O'Reilly has -- for the second time in just under eight months -- slandered at least 84 dead American servicemen. He has turned them, again, from victims of the kind of atrocity our country has always fought, into perpetrators of that kind of atrocity. He has made these Americans... into War Criminals.

They are dead - and have been, for 61 years. They cannot defend themselves against O'Reilly. We will have to do it for them.

Last October, O'Reilly railed against a ruling that more photos from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq might be released.

His guest was Wesley Clark.

Clark is a retired four-star General; was, for four years, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, first in his class at West Point, wounded in Vietnam, earned the Bronze Star and the Silver Star, and has streets named for him in Alabama, and Kosovo.

Therefore, naturally, O'Reilly knows much more about the military than General Clark does.

Clark defended the release of the additional Abu Ghraib photos, saying we needed to know what happened, and to correct it.

O'Reilly lectured him, and concluded that there had always been atrocities, even by Americans, in war.

It was a remarkable mistake.

The Belgian town of Malmedy did lend its name to one of the most appalling battlefield War Crimes of the 20th Century, but O'Reilly's implication that the Americans committed it, was entirely backwards.

Americans - most of them, members of Battery B of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion - surrendered to German Panzer troops - and were then shot by their captors from the S.S.

Yet O'Reilly had implied that the Americans had massacred this Germans in this one stark moment of the Battle of the Bulge. And he used this Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass view of history to somehow rationalize Abu Ghraib -- while trying to dress down a four-star American general.

Still. It could've been a mistake.

We make them -- even historians do.

O'Reilly had not explicitly called the Americans the war criminals at Malmedy.

Our troops too were accused of crimes against prisoners in the second World War.

It was assumed he had simply made a foolish error. And, though he got beaten up appropriately in some places, it was largely dismissed as merely that -- a mistake.

Then came this Tuesday night.

Again O'Reilly's guest was General Wes Clark.

This time the topic was the apparent murder of Iraqi civilians at Hadeetha.

That O'Reilly was dismissive of the event, should be no surprise.

That he should have described as the real crime of Iraq, the events of Abu Ghraib, should be no surprise to those who know of his willingness to jettison his most important beliefs of yesterday, for the expediencies of today.

But that he should have brought up Malmedy -- again -- that was a surprise.

Thus was the full depth of Bill O'Reilly's insult to the American dead of World War Two made clear.

The mistake of last October was not some innocent slip, nor misremembered history.

This was the way O'Reilly understood it, and thus, this way -- it had to be.

No errors corrected, no apologies offered, no stopping the relentless tide of bull even briefly enough to check one fact.

The facts of Malmedy are terrifying.

As described by Michael Reynolds in his painstakingly detailed article from a 2003 issue of "World War 2 Magazine," one week before Christmas, 1944, 139 U.S. soldiers, most of them from the 285th Field Artillery, encountered the "Kampf-gruppe Peiper," the leading formation of the German 1st S.S. Panzer Division, one of only two German units which actually carried Adolf Hitler's name.

The Americans were over-run. Eleven of the 139 Americans were killed in the very short battle of Malmedy.

Two more were killed as they tried to flee.

Seven escaped.

Six became Prisoners of War.

The other 113 Americans - nearly all of whom had surrendered outright -- were ordered to assemble in an open field next to a restaurant, the Café Bodarwe'.

What happened next has been attributed to many things: a cold-blooded decision by the Panzer unit Commander -- Colonel Joachim Peiper -- that he could not handle prisoners, or an unjustifiable over-reaction to some kind of escape attempt, or simply... horrible mass murder.

Within fifteen minutes, the S.S. Colonel or someone directly under him, had ordered his men to shoot the unarmed American POW's.

The bodies at Malmedy were not found until a month later. There were 84 of them, all, American soldiers.

More than half showed gunshot wounds to their heads. Six had received fatal blows to the head.

Nine were found with their arms still raised above their heads.

The fact that O'Reilly got these horrible facts completely backwards -- twice -- offended even his own usually compliant viewers.

From his program Wednesday night...

Wrong answer.

When you're that wrong -- when you're defending Nazi War Criminals and pinning their crimes on Americans, and you get caught doing so -- twice -- you're supposed to say 'I'm sorry, I was wrong'... and then you should shut up for a long time.

Instead, Fox washed its transcript of O'Reilly's remarks Tuesday -- its website claims O'Reilly said "In Normandy..." when in fact he said "In Malmedy..."

The rewriting of past reporting -- worthy of Orwell -- has now carried over into such on-line transcription services as Burrell's and Factiva.

Whatever did or did not happen later, in supposed or actual retribution... the victims at Malmedy, were Americans, gunned down while surrendering -- by Nazis in 1944 -- and again, Tuesday Night and Wednesday Night -- by a false patriot who would rather be loud than right.

"In Malmedy, as you know" Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday night, in some indecipherable attempt to defend the events of Hadeetha, "U.S. forces captured S.S. forces who had their hands in the air and were unarmed and they shot them dead, you know that. That's on the record. And documented."

The victims at Malmedy in December, 1944... were Americans. Americans with their hands in the air. Americans who were unarmed. That's on the record. And documented.

And their memory deserves better than Bill O'Reilly.

We all do.

Glenn Reynolds Drives Jonathan Schwarz into Level 764 Shrillness!

The imbecilic Glenn Reynolds has pushed him over the edge:

Only so many ways to be crazy: On the day when Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson finally send the death squads to kill you and me and our families and everyone we know, whose fault will it be? Well, that's obvious: it will be our fault. Glenn Reynolds learnedly explains this for us here:

Peter Ingemi writes that the antiwar left has made Haditha morally irrelevant:

There is one aspect about Haditha that seems to be ignored by everybody. Our press and the anti-American left both in this country and outside of it has been reporting "Hadithas" over and over again over the last three years. Time and time again our friends have accused us of every possible atrocity that there is to the point that internationally people are already able to believe this or the 9/11 stuff or all the rest.

Because of this, internationally it is totally irrelevant if the Marines actually violated the rules of war. Our foes are going to say that we've done things if we do them or not, so the only people that it really matters to will be the people killed (and family) and the people in our own country who support the military.

The real danger is that we who support the war will reach the point that we say "we might as well be taken as wolves then as sheep". At that point the left can celebrate that they have made our military and those who support it the people they claim we are. Once that happens however any compunction about respecting them will be gone, and remember one side is armed and one is not.

That is a fate that I don't wish on any of us.

Neither do I.

It would be easy to say this is straight out of Nazi propaganda. So let me say it: this is straight out of Nazi propaganda. If anyone with time on their hands wants to look through this archive, I guarantee you'll find a dozen statements just like it--the same weepy self-pity and righteous sense of victimization from people with all the power, the same warnings that the powerless are soon going to get what they've been asking for FOR SO LONG, etc.

However, in fairness to Professor Reynolds and Mr. Ingemi, I'm sure you could also find this in the propaganda of the Soviet Union, the Iraqi Baathists, the Ottomans during World War I, etc. There are only so many ways to be dangerous authoritarian psychopaths. It's really not right to expect Reynolds and Ingemi to come up with anything new.

(Via Matt Barganier at

HOLY CRIPES ALMIGHTY: Reynolds has updated the post with this:

Some people, judging from my email, are misjudging -- or deliberately misconstruing -- Ingemi's point. Ingemi's point, as I took it, is that crying wolf leads in the end to moral callousness, as people assume that there's no point in behaving morally when they're going to be called monsters anyway. This seems rather uncontroversially obvious to me.

I almost never look at Instapundit, so I actually had been concerned I might have been a little unfair to Reynolds. But, uh, not anymore.

It would take five years to untangle every strand of his Crazy Yarn, so let me just concentrate on this: what kind of person believes it's "uncontroversially obvious" that human beings work like this? Read that again: "people assume that there's no point in behaving morally when they're going to be called monsters anyway."

You know, Professor Reynolds is welcome to call me a babykiller every day until the sun explodes. Yet somehow I still won't come to his house and shoot his children.

That's just the way my species is, here on the planet we call "Earth."