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If you enjoy fear-mongering, here’s a not-for-profit organization for you: Keep America Safe. William Kristol and Liz Cheney are the dynamic duo behind it. Cheney is just off a Sunday talk show appearance in which she explained that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the president of the United States—a decision that coincides with new polls showing America suddenly resurgent as the most admired nation in the world—actually reflects the loss of American leadership and a disdain for America. That was just a taste of the Bizarro World that also appears in a video issued by Keep America Safe. It appears to be stitched together from segments broadcast by Fox News, few of which stand up to fact-checking. (For instance, it suggests that Obama has stripped the defense budget, when in fact this year’s budget is $40 billion larger than last year’s. Charles Krauthammer tells us Obama hasn’t decided what to do about Afghanistan. In fact, Obama has already rejected the idea of a draw-down, so the only question that his team is deliberating is how large the new contingent of troops will be. That contrasts with the Bush-Cheney team, which received a comparable appeal for more troops from its Afghanistan commanders in April 2008, and decided to ignore it.) So, considering that the major departures Obama has made from Bush strategy actually involve more robust use of the military—especially in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani border region—what is it that Obama has done that makes America unsafe?
I’d reduce the real purpose of Keep America Safe to this: “Please don’t prosecute my father!” It’s increasingly clear that Dick Cheney was the author of the Bush-era torture policies, and my hunch is that when the Justice Department releases the OPR report on the torture memos, we’re going to find more evidence of the invisible hand of Dick Cheney behind the whole project. Any fair-minded federal prosecutor looking into the matter would shortly be preparing to do what Patrick Fitzgerald probably wishes now he had done: indict Dick Cheney.
Here’s a Countdown segment reviewing the new Cheney-Kristol initiative and putting it in appropriate perspective:
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”