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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Krazy Keith barked like a small Bichon Frise for the opening spiel. 'The President at war over Iraq on three fronts! The first front, George Bush vs. his own memory! The second front, George Bush vs. his own first man in Bagdahd. Third front, George Bush's comments vs. George Bush's comments!' He can't even afford to call him President once. He's playing for "October-November" (Keith got this from one of his usual blue blogs, ThinkProgress). Iraq is worse for Iraqis and Speshul Komment plug. Hillary tries to be funny on Ellen and Steve Fossett is missing. The DailyKos kids are brought to tears.
#5: "Photo op" in Iraq. President is hoping the Republican Presidential candidates will have to "drink his kool aid." The trip to Iraq was designed to "steal the Democrats thunder" before they return to congress. OlbyPlanet seems to be under the impression that the Democrats have any thunder with approval ratings like 18%. Fat Ass gives the President a clip. GAO report sounds bad for the war. Wolffe Man enters stage left with an attempt to look smart with books behind him.
"Why al-Anbar for the photo op?" Wolffe Man concedes there is good news and it should be applauded. But he tries to make it seem like nothing has REALLY changed because...well.....oh those damn Sunni Sheiks decided they were tired of being killed by al-Qaeda in Iraq along with other Sunni and Shia insurgents. It's a "mixed picture." The administration is going to jump on anything that shows violence down and "claim it's their own." Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because the violence is down they should tout their accomplishments? Or is that only bad when Republicans do it? "How do Democrats respond to the President's two week head start?" "They fight it. Win over Republicans." GAO leak was a massive conspiracy. Great thanks.
"Mister" Bush is trying to distance himself, from himself! Zing! Paul Bremer and the great army dissolve scandal. Fired (ret.) General Clark comes to play patticake with Olbermann. Great insight about how we failed to plan for security - we didn't do it. The President was on his ranch when he corresponded with Amb. Bremer. Ok, I care, because? Gen. Clark rambles about how they should have maintained the army. "Does the finger pointing matter or does the President bear the responsibility?" asks Keith. Clark declares we have "failed." Great pleasured he was.
"I AM PLAYING OCTOBER-NOVEMBER" quotes Hauptmann. Speshul Komment plug again.
#4: President trying to shape his legacy. Another Saddam's army disbandment scandal mention. "Bush's Brain" author. I can't imagine why he is on Countdown. Keith NEVER uses "Bush's Brain." Slater filibusters about everyone building legacies or something. The President is going to ride out his Presidency any "damn well way he pleases." He's either Hoover or Truman, he's more like Hoover says Slater. "Is he checking out when he checks out?" "He'll be the slacker in chief." "Has he been stoic or saying 'how I pity me'? There are two Bushes according to Slater. Laura and the girls were the quickest to puncture his balloon when he "pities himself." Great thanks.
Another Speshul Komment plug. The President is a liar.
Oddball: El Salvadorians throwing rags on fire. World moustache and beard competition. Breaking News: Sen. Larry Craig reconsiders.
Newsmakers: Michael Imperioli, someone on a mountain, Sen. John McCain.
#3: Sen. Larry Craig reconsiders his decision via the AP. Chris Cillizza discerns from the headline that Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision. NO WAY! Blabbing about legal versus political reality. His family is telling him not to resign, they think. Yawn. Keith thinks Cillizza did fantastic work under the pressure of breaking news. Speshul Komment plug.
Keeping Tabs: Steve Fossett is missing. Brad Pitt has people lunge at him.
In the Media Matters minute, a columnist from the evil WorldNetDaily for repeating a column in which Castro calls Clinton/Obama unbeatable - MediaMatters. Thabo Mbeki gets the silver. Evil 'Neo-Con' wins the gold, VP Chief of Staff David Addington comes out in favor of terror via CarpetBaggerReport.
Olbermann's book The book that bears Olbermann's name limped along at #17,438 on amazon.com, but "Culture Warrior" is #4,270. (It's that 2-for-$25 sale!) The OlbyTome managed to - wait - it didn't. It's still unranked at Barnes and Noble; O'Reilly's book is #1,832 there, and is one of the top five books of 2006 per Publishers Weekly. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: LOONY [HELP!]
APPENDIX: Keith's Latest Speshul Education Komment
Finally tonight, a Special Comment about Mr. Bush's trip, and his startling admission of the true motive for this war, which was revealed in his absence.
And so he is back from his annual surprise gratuitous photo-op in Iraq, and what a sorry spectacle it was.
But it was nothing compared to the spectacle of one unfiltered, unguarded, horrifying quotation in the new biography to which Mr. Bush has consented.
As he deceived the troops at Al-Asad Air Base yesterday with the tantalizing prospect that some of them might not have to risk being killed and might get to go home...
Mr. Bush probably did not know that, with his own words, he had already proved that he had been lying... is lying... will be lying.... about Iraq.
He presumably did not know, that there had already appeared those damning excerpts from Robert Draper's book "Dead Certain."
"I'm playing for October-November," Mr. Bush said to Draper.
That, evidently, is the time during which, he thinks he can sell us the real plan.
Which is, to quote him: "To get us in a position where the presidential candidates, will be comfortable about sustaining a presence."Comfortableâ€ -- that is -- with saying about Iraq, again quoting the President, "stay... longer."
And there it is, Sir.
We've caught you.
Your goal is not to bring some troops home -- maybe -- if we let you have your way now;
Your goal is not to set the stage for eventual withdrawal;
You are, to use your own disrespectful, tone-deaf word, playing at getting the next Republican nominee to agree to jump into this bottomless pit with you, and take us with him, as we stay in Iraq for another year, and another, and another, and anon.
Everything you said about Iraq yesterday, and everything you will say, is a deception, for the purpose of this one cynical, unacceptable, brutal goal -- perpetuating this war indefinitely.
War today, war tomorrow, war forever!
And you are playing at it!
A man with any self-respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country!
You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, Sir.
And yet, yesterday at Al-Asad, Mr. Bush kept playing -- and this time, using the second of his two faces.
The President told reporters, quote -- "They, (General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker) "tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces."
And so, Mr. Bush got his fraudulent headlines today.
"Bush May Bring Some Troops Home."
While the reality is, we know from what he told Draper, that the President's true hope is that they will not come home; but that they will stay there, because he is keeping them there now, in hope that those from his political party fighting to succeed him, will prolong this unendurable disaster into the next decade.
But, to a country dying of thirst, the President seemed to vaguely promise a drink from a full canteen -- a promise predicated on the assumption that he is not lying.
Yet you are lying, Mr. Bush.
But now, we know... why.
You gave away more of yourself than you knew in the Draper book...
And you gave away more still, on the arduous trip back out of Iraq -- hours in the air, without so much as a single vacation.
"If you look at my comments over the past eight months," you told reporters, "it's gone from a security situation -- in the sense that we're either going to get out and there will be chaos, or, more troops. Now, the situation has changed, where I'm able to speculate on the hypothetical."
Mr. Bush, the only "hypothetical" here is that you are not now holding our troops... hostage.
You have no intention of withdrawing them.
But that doesn't mean you can't pretend you're thinking about it, does it?
That is your genius, Sir -- as you see it, anyway.
You can deduce what we want -- we, the people, remember us? -- and then use it against us.
You can hold that canteen up and promise it to the parched nation.
And the untold number of Americans whose lives have not been directly blighted by Iraq -- or who do not realize that their safety has been reduced and not increased by Iraq -- they will get the bullet points: 'Bush is thinking about bringing some troops home. Bush even went to Iraq.'
You can fool some of the people all of the time, can't you, Mr. Bush?
You are playing us!
And as for the most immediate victims of the President's perfidy and shameless manipulation -- those troops, yesterday sweating literally as he spoke at Al-Asad Air Base...
Tonight, again sweating figuratively in The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death...
The President saved, for them, the most egregious "playing" in the entire trip.
"I want to tell you this about the decision, about my decision about troop levels. Those decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground -- not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media."
One must compliment Mr. Bush's writer.
That, perhaps, was the mostly perfectly crafted phrase of his Presidency.
For depraved indifference to Democracy, for the craven projection of political motives onto those trying to save lives and save a nation, for a dismissal of the value of the polls and the importance of the media... for a summary of all he does not hold dear about this nation or its people -- nothing... could top that.
As if, Sir, you listened to all the "calm assessments" of our military commanders --rather than firing the ones who dared say The Emperor Has No Clothes, and The President, No Judgment;
As if, Sir, your entire presidency was not a "nervous reaction", and you yourself, nothing but a Washington politician;
As if, Sir, "the media" does not largely divide into those parts your minions are playing, and those others who unthinkingly and uncritically serve as your echo chamber, at a time when the nation's future may depend on the airing of dissent.
And as if, Sir, those polls were not so overwhelming, and not so clearly reflective of the nation's agony... and the nation's insistence.
But this President has ceased to listen.
This President has decided that night is day, and death is life, and enraging the world against us, is safety.
And this laziest of Presidents, actually interrupted his precious time off to fly to Iraq to play at a photo opportunity... with soldiers... some of whom will... on his orders... be killed before the year... maybe the month... is out.
Just over 500 days remain in this Presidency.
Consider the dead who have piled up on the battlefield.... in these last 500 days.
Consider the singular fraudulence of this President's trip to Iraq yesterday, and the singular fraudulence of the selling of The Petraeus Report... in these last 500 days.
Consider how this President has torn away at the fabric of this nation in a manner of which terrorists can only dream... in these last 500 days.
And consider again how this President has spoken to that biographer: that he is "playing for October-November"... the goal in Iraq is "To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence"... and consider how this revelation contradicts every other rationale he has offered... in these last 500 days.
In the context of all that... now, consider... these next 500 days.
Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end.
Even if it means your resignation.
Even if it means your impeachment.
Even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term.
Even if it means a Democratic Congress -- and those true Patriots among the Republicans -- standing up and denying you another **penny** for Iraq, other than for the safety and the safe conduct home of our troops.
This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country... in the next 500 days...
Not while you, Sir... are playing.
Good night, and good luck.