News Roundup for 5/28/09

Cheney on 'State of the Nation'
Dick Cheney, being forced to appear on TV against his will

-Headline of the day-
"GOP strategist slams MSNBC for too much Cheney coverage."

Yeah, let that one sink in.

If you ask GOP strategist KT McFarland about media coverage of the former Republican vice president, she'll tell you she's against it. Speaking to MSNBC's Mike Schuster, McFarland said that Cheney's big "Yay for torture" media tour is bad for the party. Saying she'd "like to hear other voices in the Republican party too," McFarland blamed the media -- not Cheney -- for Dick's appearances everywhere and anywhere a network news camera sits on a tripod. "[S]hame on you guys to only be covering Dick Cheney," she said. "There are other people speaking out."

People like some lady named "KT McFarland," who was busy complaining on a national cable news talking head show about how much people like her are being ignored. That kind of undercuts her argument just a little bit.

If Republicans are having trouble with Cheney's ongoing campaign to save his own ass, maybe they ought to take that up with the Dark Lord himself. As it is, Democrats are positively gleeful. Appearing on the same panel, Democratic strategist Peter Mirijanian said, "Well, he is the former vice president and he has been fairly outspoken and he has taken up all the airtime. I in fact like to see him out there..."

"Of course you do!" McFarland interjected. "Please!"

Hey KT, no one's got a gun to Dick's head. This thing is all his own idea. You're basically blaming the trainwreck on the crowd that gathered to check out the twisted metal afterward.

Blame "Casey Jones" Cheney for that one. (Raw Story)

-How to break a terr'ist-
Editor and Publisher is reporting the gruesome details of a TIME magazine story to be published tomorrow. It's the story of "the most successful interrogation of an al Qaeda operative by US officials" and the horrifying tactics required to break him. Trust me, it's brutal and terrifying, shocking in it's violence and inhumanity. They knew this guy was bad news, so they didn't stick him in a little box, they didn't slam his head against a wall, they didn't deprive him of sleep or waterboard him. He would've laughed that all of, because he's al Qaeda -- which means he's magic.

No, according to the report, "All it took to soften up Abu Jandal, who had been closer to Osama bin Laden than any other terrorist ever captured, was a handful of sugar-free cookies."

Wait, what?

"He was a diabetic... We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him... So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures," says former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan.

"Defenders of the Bush program, most notably Cheney, say the use of waterboarding produced actionable intelligence that helped the US disrupt terrorist plots," TIME will report. "But the experiences of officials like Soufan suggest that the utility of torture is limited at best and counterproductive at worst."

In Cheney's defense, you have to remember that the typical conservative reaction to a problem is to be an unbelievable hardass about it. And what's more hardass than torture?

OK, so that's not a defense. Sue me. It was the best I could come up with. (E&P Pub, via reddit)

-Obama destroys patriotic American car dealers!-
Eek! Chrysler's closing car dealerships all over the country and -- guess what? -- a lot of those dealers turn out to be Republicans! It's a big conspiracy to destroy the powerful Republican Chrysler dealer lobby, which holds more sway in Washington than the NRA, the AARP, and the American Potato Chip Producers Association combined. Didn't give money to Obama's election campaign? Screw you, good American car lot guy! It's a commie world now. Luckily, the conservative blogosphere got wind of this and are using this scandal to take the Marxist Obama administration down.

Not surprisingly, this new "conspiracy" turns out to be complete bullshit. Yes, more Republican dealerships are being closed that Democrat-owned ones, but there's a simple explanation for that. "There is just one problem with this theory," writes statistician Nate Silver. "Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren't being closed. It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats -- not just those who are having their doors closed."

"Conservative blogs jumped on this before thinking it through," says Steve Benen.

I'm sorry, but isn't that pretty much all conservative blogs do? (Washington Monthly)

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