Archive for emails

Email from a vet: "The strange attachment to the f**kers who killed us"

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I was part of an email exchange today that included the following from two colleagues who I've gotten to know and admire over the years. Their heartfelt commentaries on Iraq, war, and Team Bush punctured my heart. They made such raw sense, their words and thoughts were so powerful, so passionate, and so compelling, they'll likely haunt me for some time. The first is an unfiltered flood of astute and fierce commentary by a vet.

With their permission, I am now sharing the emails with you, verbatim.

Whether you agree or disagree with the author, what is indisputable is that these words were written by someone who's been through hell and back. They're painful to read. He was there and knows what he's talking about, as opposed to the usual blathering pundits, so-called experts, and BushCo chickenhawks:

I was watching Glenn Greenwald and Paul Rieckhoff have themselves a grand old dick off. Dicks were waved, measured, and assessed like they were wine snobs in Napa during the first pour.

Yeah, they're both dicks. So's Maher that fucknozzle, shithead's not even very funny anymore.

What I saw in Rieckhoff though, reminded me of exactly what I went through. As my illusions of war, national pride, honor, all of that happy shit faded, I quickly created new illusions to cling to.

Without them I probably would have melted down completely. I had to hold on to the illusion that I somehow waded through all that shit for some kind of reason. That somehow, through all of that, I managed to salvage some measure of personal honor. Other folks went apeshit, did the raping, did the atrocity, but not me. Yeah, bullshit isn't it?

I was there. I was in it up to my fucking neck.

Did anything save me? Nope. All I finally was able to cling to was the hard bitten, hard won wisdom of the boonie rats.

When shit climbed up on us, when somebody was an eyelash away from going completely over the fucking edge, somebody would open their grimy fucking mouth to say,

"Fuck it man. Don't mean nothing."

That's how we got through. That's what we used to step ourselves back.

Fuck it man, don't mean nothing. Most of the time right after that somebody else would chime in with, "Yeah. Don't mean nothing. Fuck it, ruck up, press on."

The politics that sent us there were bullshit. Fuckers like McNamara in the Pentagon, Westmoreland in his air conditioned well-fed bunker in Saigon (Here's a quick strategic guide for you, if you need to live in a bunker in the capitol of your area of operations, you ain't winning jack fucking shit anytime soon troop) knew the truth of what was going on as well as Cheney, Bush and all those motherfuckers knew.

They knew and they did it anyway. Motherfuckers.

I quit asking all those existential questions, quit looking for the fucking meaning of it, because I realized there wasn't anything there to be found.

Rieckhoff and his companions are still clinging to the illusions that kept them alive, maybe even kept them from going absolutely bug fuck.

It has to mean something to them. Hell, they can lie enough to tell themselves that a lot of it actually fucking worked.

I won't challenge them. It's his life, and his fucking process, he has to walk that shit alone.

Besides, the only comfort I can give him is to put an hand on his shoulder and say,

"Fuck it man, don't mean nothing, it never fucking did. Deal with it and go from there. You'll fucking sleep better."

A response to that email produced some of the most effective imagery I've encountered on this topic:

Some guys (like Cheney, et. al.) can't bear the thought of losing, so like gamblers they keep playing a losing game, telling themselves that if they stay in long enough they eventually get to "win."

I had this image of George W. Bush sitting at the slots with a bowl full of dog tags in his lap, shoving them into the machine one after another and pulling the lever, muttering, "If you don't quit, you don't lose."

President Bush Endorses John McCain For President

Iraq war dog tags Source Wikimedia dot orgImage: Wikimedia.org

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New emails, interviews: Hoboken mayor under pressure from Christie administration

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chris christie angrytick tick boom

Why, it seems like only yesterday that I posted Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul. Oh wait, it was yesterday.

And now it seems like only today that the New York Times is reporting about emails showing that Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer was indeed being pressured by the Christie administration.

drip drip drip

You remember this story, right? Governor "Heartbroken's" allies were oh, so "offended" and started pointing fingers at Zimmer for daring to suggest that she'd been leaned on.

Zimmer alleged that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told her that the very pricey Rockefeller real estate project was important to her boss and that Zimmer should “move forward” with it in order to get Hurricane Sandy clean-up funding. The mayor even jotted down contemporaneous notes about the conversation in her journal. Oh my bad, Zimmer's a woman: Her "diary."

She had a meeting scheduled with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss protecting Hoboken from future natural disasters. However:

But according to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, which had long been trying to gain approval from local officials, sent two executives, two lobbyists and an engineer to the meeting. [...]

The Christie administration has denied ever linking the Rockefeller project to hurricane relief, an accusation that is now under federal investigation.

But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration.

What's that saying again? Oh yeah:

ruh roh smallerUPDATE via TPM:

A longtime adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) conducted a 2012 poll on behalf of a development firm at the center of one of the scandals that has recently rocked the governor's administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

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WI Gov. Scott Walker campaign, county staff collaborated after teen death

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the plot sickens smaller

Back in 2010, Jared Kellner, who was only 15, was killed by a 13-ton concrete panel that fell on him as he left a Wisconsin garage. A friend of Kellner's was injured. That was less than two months before the Wisconsin gubernatorial primary, so now-Governor Scott Walker was in full campaign mode.

Members of the Milwaukee County Board and others "suggested Walker and his administration’s policies resulted in deferred maintenance of the parking structure."

oops sorry

Scotty was "intimately involved in the discussions," per emails [which were part of that years-long John Doe probe], which include his aides "complaining about reporters they felt were biased against them in their coverage of the incident."

awwww

WisPolitics has a few more revelations about Walker's handling of the tragedy:

The discussions included Walker county exec staffers seeking guidance from the campaign on whether they should slow down their response time to open records requests.

things that make you go hmmm

[Former Walker aide Tim] Russell asked the email chain where Walker was following the incident, warning “Scott cannot be at a fundraiser or something like that. He’ll be eaten alive.”

and your point is...

In one email, an aide forwarded to Walker a request from the Daily Reporter to respond to Supv. John Weishan’s suggestion that a move in 2003 to move surplus money from the county’s 0.5 percent sales tax from the capital budget to the general operating budget contributed to the tragedy.

“I called him and beat down Weishan,” Walker wrote, adding “He is a back bencher who the board doesn’t even listen to.” [...]

Nardelli, in an email to Walker, Rindfleisch and Gilkes three days after the accident, criticized WTMJ-TV reporter Aaron Diamant for picking up on allegations made by former County Board Chairman Lee Holloway that maintenance at the garage had been deferred according to a report. “He is just as biased against you as (Journal Sentinel reporter Steve) Schultze…what a schmuck!”

rubber glue bounces off me sticks to you

In another email, Russell wrote Journal Sentinel reporter Jesse Garza had gotten a message to him that he was willing to help Walker get “good ink” if the county exec wanted to speak with the reporter.

spin

And word is, Walker could be the Big Presidential Contender in 2016.

walker world

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Video- CBS Evening News Highlights Collapse Of Right Wing Scandal Mongering Over Benghazi Talking Points

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Tsk, imagine R's exaggerating! Unthinkable. More here.

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How's that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin' for ya, GOP?

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outreach my ass reach out inclusive

Oklahoma state Rep. James Lockhart (D) emailed a colleague for help, so Rep. Mike Reynolds (R) gave him some... some... well, gave him something, but it sure wasn't help.

Lockhart's email, in part, via the Oklahoma Democrats site. Bolding is mine:

Basically we are doing a poor job of improving the lives of the people we represent... [M]ost people think we either don’t care about them or are unable to do something about improving their standard of living.

I am here to try to improve the quality of life of the average person in however small a way possible.

I would suggest you do the same.

Of course, anyone with a modicum of compassion would go out of their way to show how much they truly care about their constituents. A little grace and empathy goes a long way to inspire mutual respect among all citizens. After all, if they thrive, then everybody benefits: families, the state, even the public officials who represent them! There's nothing like generosity, comfort, and good will to help those who depend on you, who trust you, to succeed and build a little self worth.

Right Rep. Reynolds?

It is not our job to see that anyone gets an education. It is not the responsibility of me, you, or any constituent in my district to pay for his or any other persons education... Their potential to benefit society is irrelevant.

Compassionate conservatism at its best. Way to go Mike!

By the way, "person's" should have an apostrophe, Mr. Not Our Job To See That Anyone Gets An Education. Clearly Reynolds never had one.

FYI: The title of the OK Dem's post was "REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE MIKE REYNOLDS CALLS STUDENT’S POTENTIAL IRRELEVANT."

How's that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin' for ya, GOP?

because we care

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E-mails link Jeb Bush foundation, corporations, ALEC, and education officials. Corporate funders benefit.

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jeb bush george bush

Gee, who'da thunk it? A foundation associated with GOP darling Jeb Bush hooking up with ALEC and pushing school vouchers? We're shocked, we tells ya, shocked!

E-mails have been posted online here between the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) and a group Jebby set up called Chiefs for Change. Here are its members. They are current and former state education commissioners who support Bush’s agenda of "school reform," meaning more charter schools, meaning vouchers, meaning privatization, meaning cutting union jobs... and pushing for "cyber schooling" and standardized tests among other things.

Having worked at public schools for years as an educator, I have my own voucher: I can vouch that more teaching to the test and less public education are bad for this country. I can also vouch that private schools mean more discrimination, more inequality... well, just take it from ALEC Exposed:

ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds.

Oh, and three states are pushing an ALEC bill to require teaching climate change denial in schools.

Via WaPo, a must-read:

A nonprofit group released thousands of e-mails today and said they show how a foundation begun by Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and national education reform leader, is working with public officials in states to write education laws that could benefit some of its corporate funders. [...]

[The e-mails] reveal — conclusively, he said — that foundation staff members worked to promote the interests of some of their funders in  Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana. [...]

There are strong connections between FEE and the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy...

bush is our children learning

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So much for Bobby Jindal's "transparency": His top aides use personal emails to strategize on Medicaid cuts

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The next time any Republican gets hot under the collar when you call one of their own a hypocrite, or gets a tingle up their leg over their new BFF and potential presidential candidate Bobby “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first” Jindal, ask them to defend this:

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Top officials in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration used personal email accounts to craft a media strategy for imposing hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts - a method of communication that can make it more difficult to track under public records laws despite Jindal's pledge to bring more transparency to state government. [...]

It's unclear whether he knew his top staff used private accounts to conduct public business. The practice folds into a national debate over the use of personal email accounts by government officials to discuss official business. [...]

When running for office in 2007, Jindal campaigned on improving government transparency in a state known for its backroom political deals, imprisoned elected officials and ongoing investigations into public corruption. Since then, the governor has opposed attempts to open more of his office's records to public scrutiny, and agencies in his executive branch have exerted new claims of privilege to shield documents.

Seems Ba-ba-ba-Bobby's knack for keeping promises and being transparent is only surpassed by his knack for public speaking. (Click on link for explanation of Ba-ba-ba. Hint: Rachel Maddow.)

Details at the link.

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