Oliver Stone on Bush, Cheney, and Iraq

While discussing his new film World Trade Center with the LATimes’ Patrick Goldstein, here’s what Oliver Stone had to say about Bush, Cheney, and Iraq:

Stone’s political views are as outspoken as ever. “I’ve traveled the world and seen it everywhere — we lost the trust of the world,” he says. “So now we have more death from terror, not less. Not to mention a constitutional breakdown.”

Startled, I asked, “Who had a constitutional breakdown?” Stone’s eyes widened. “America, that’s who!” he says. “You know, there’s a great line from ‘Alexander’: ‘Conquer your fear and you will conquer death.’ That’s what the heroes of our film and the rescuers did on 9/11. But since then, we haven’t fought smartly. We’ve fought stupidly. We’ve overreached.”

Stone rattles off a list of countries that have successfully fought terrorism in recent history. “We had something to learn from them, but we ignored them. We didn’t have to go to war in Iraq when the enemy was really 4,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. If we had successfully hunted down Bin Laden, we could’ve finished him off and most people would’ve still been with us.”

He’s on a roll now. “It was hard for us Vietnam vets to see Iraq creep up on us, just the way Vietnam did. I really believe if Bush or Cheney had fought in a war they wouldn’t have put us through all the pain and suffering. I have three kids, including a 21-year-old son. Are they going to be Stealth jet pilots, like those guys in ‘Why We Fight,’ smiling after they’ve dropped the first bombs in Iraq?”

Why am I having Michael Moore flashbacks?

Hat tip: KLO at NRO

Lieberman/Lamont and McKinney/Johnson predictions (LIVEBLOGGING – LIEBERMAN CONCEDES, WILL RUN AS INDEP.)

(Scroll to the bottom for frequent updates)

The polls close in CT at 8 Eastern time tonight in the Lieberman/Lamont primary. Polls close at 7 Eastern time in Georgia in the McKinney/Johnson run off.

Who will win? Post your predictions in the comments section.

NBC30.com will be posting the results of the CT primary on their site as they come in.

11Alive.com in Atlanta will be monitoring runoff results in Georgia.

On the blogging end, Allah will be on top of the races and updating, and I’ll try to as well – time permitting.

Update 7:05 PM: Here’s a better link (click on the link for US House District 4) for checking results in this Georgia runoff. The polls just closed five minutes ago so stay tuned for results to come rolling in. Looks like that link automatically refreshes every few seconds. If you have a problem with that link, try this one and click on the link for US House District 4.

Update 7:49 PM: Here’s another alternate link for the McKinney/Johnson runoff. Results are coming in from other races in the area, but none on this Mc/J. Yet.

Update 7:54 PM: McKinney staffer has minor altercation with an 11Alive photographer. (Hat tip: Allah)

Update 7:56 PM: Results starting to roll in in Mc/J race (scroll).

Update 8:01: Several Georgia news outlets reported today that voter turnout was expected to be low. The ‘hot spot’ in Georgia was/is expected to be, of course, Dekalb County:

McKinney’s runoff was the hottest race in Georgia by far Tuesday. The state’s highest voter turnout was expected to be in McKinney’s district, just east of Atlanta. Early voting numbers showed that her district accounted for more than one out of every eight voters who cast ballots last week, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees state elections.

Of the roughly 30,000 early voters, 3,997 were in McKinney’s district, which includes most of DeKalb County, about half of Rockdale County and a small section of Gwinnett County.

DeKalb County was the only “hot spot” in runoff elections held in Georgia, with “light to moderate” voter turnout elsewhere as of late Tuesday morning, said Ashley Holt, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office.

Update 8:06 PM: I would stick with this link for updates. The WMAZ link is still showing no results in the Mc/J race, whereas this one is showing them coming in.

Update 8:15 PM: Z’ polls are closed in CT.

Update 8:18: Link for up to the minute poll results from CT. You may have to do an manual refresh on that one.

Update 8:21 PM: Better link for updated poll results from CT. They are already rolling in. Manual refresh on that one too, I think. Lamont leading with one percent reporting.

Update 8:24 PM: This link for the GA runoff seems to be updating now and it auto-refreshes every few seconds. Johnson’s in the lead with just a few hundred votes reported.

Update 8:26 PM: With 2% precincts reporting, Lamont is in the lead by 600 votes. I bet the Lamonties are giggling with glee. Hopefully not for long.

Update 8:28 PM: Time for a powder room break :D

Update 8:32 PM: Via the WFSB (manual refresh) link – 3% reporting, Lamont is up by 1300 votes.

Update 8:34 PM: With 8% of precincts reporting, Johnson still leads McKinney.

Update 8:38 PM: Lamont’s lead is widening: 6,814 votes to 4,586. Still early, though.

Update 8:41 PM: W/ 10% of precincts reporting, Johnson leads McKinney 1959 – 645. So far so good.

Update 8:44 PM: Lamont 12,236 – Lieberman 9,535 with 7% precincts reporting. Anyone know how many precincts CT has?

Update 8:47 PM: Question answered – CT has 748 precincts. Drudge is updating on this as well (thanks to ST reader Karl, who is doing his own primary/runoff liveblogging).

Update 8:51 PM: I should note that Chip, Jr. is doing a fine job of keeping up with me tonight ;)

Update 8:54 PM: Lamont 19,257 – Lieberman 14,870/ 11 % reporting.

Update 8:57 PM: In GA, it’s Johnson 2,126 – McKinney 745/ 12 % reporting.

Update 9:02 PM: Lamont 29,463 – Lieberman 22,898 / 17% reporting. Is it over for Joe? A discussion about whether or not Joe should run as an Independent should he lose tonight is ongoing in the comments section.

Update 9:06: Johnson over McKinney 2,505-892/ 1 % reporting.

Update 9:08 PM: Via Drudge, it’s Lamont 35,942 – Lieberman 28,227 with 21% reporting. Eep.

Update 9:12 PM: Strange that election results are coming in faster from the polls that closed at 8 (L/L) than the one that closed at 7 (Mc/J).

Update 9:14 PM: Again via Drudge, Lamont 40,934 – Lieberman 33,375/ 25% reporting.

Update 9:21 PM: Via the Hartford Courant (thanks to ST reader Mwalimu Daudi for the link): Lamont 55,294 – Lieberman 46,941/ 34% reporting. Keep refreshing that link. It seems to be the most current.

Update 9:23 PM: Lamont 61,449 – Lieberman 53,159/ 38% reporting.

Update 9:26 PM: Pathetic! What is going on in GA that they are so slow with runoff results?

Update 9:28 PM: 64,383 for Lamont, 56,891 for Lieberman/ 44% reporting.

Update 9:31 PM: Finally a GA update: Johnson 2,541 – McKinney 906/ 13% reporting. They must be doing everything by hand down there. Can you say “hanging chad”? :p

Update 9:33 PM: Joe’s cutting into the percentage lead, but only a little bit. Lamont 70,444 – Lieberman 64,700 / 50% reporting. 52.13% to 47.87%.

Update 9:37 PM: A tiny bit more percentage lead cutting by Joe. Lamont 74,396 – Lieberman 68,718 / 54% reporting. 51.98% to 48.02%.

Update 9:41 PM: ST reader and Iowa Voice blogger Brian writes re: the GA runoff:

Georgia was just as slow last time out. When I blogged it, I was up until 3 am waiting for the final results! Apparently, they don’t rush things down south. =D

Heh. Yeah – elections officials tehre probably stopped for a break and are having a mint julep or sipping lemonade on the front porch ;)

Update 9:45 PM: GA results so far: Johnson 3,384 – McKinney 1,876/ 16% reporting.

Update 9:48 PM: Lamont 89,814 – Lieberman 84,231/ 64% reporting. 51.60% – 48.40.

Update 9:51 PM: More from GA: Johnson 5,996 – McKinney 2,607/ 20% reporting.

Update 9:52 PM: Nearing the 75% precincts reporting mark for L/L. Lamont 100,425 – Lieberman 94,148/ 72% reporting. 51.61% – 48.39%.

Update 10:00 PM: Lamont 103,145 – Liberman 96,235/ 74% reporting. 51.73% – 48.27.

Update 10:01 PM: Chip, Jr. is still going strong :D

Update 10:02 PM: GA: Johnson 11,255 – McKinney 7,062/ 35% reporting.

Update 10:04 PM: Lamont 109,239 – Lieberman 101,818/ 77% reporting. 51.76% – 48.24%.

Update 10:07 PM: Lamont 114,165 – Lieberman 106,428/ 80% reporting. 51.75% – 48.25%. Ok, now I’m getting nervous.

Update 10:14 PM: Check in with NRO’s Sixers blog for updates on other races around the country (scroll).

Update 10:15 PM: Drudge is calling the primary for Lamont. The nutroots will blast into orbit with glee when/if it’s officially declared. I’m hoping Joe runs as an Independent. GO JOE.

Update 10:19 PM: Lamont 119,100 – Lieberman 110,686/ 83% reporting. 51.83% – 48.17%.

Update 10:20 PM: From GA: Johnson 12,098 – McKinney 8,002/ 35% reporting. They really DID have a low voter turnout in GA, it appears.

Update 10:22 PM: GA again: Johnson 17,739 – McKinney 12,876/ 51% reporting.

Update 10:29 PM: Lamont 120,616 – Lieberman 111,887/ 84% reporting. 51.88% – 48.12%.

Update 10:43 PM: The latest from CT:

U.S. Senate – – Dem Primary
651 of 748 Precincts Reporting – 87.03%

Lamont, Ned Dem 124,940 51.84
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 116,060 48.16

Update 10:46 PM: Via Hotline On Call:

What we’re hearing:

Update 10:50 PM: GA race 68% reporting:

Hank Johnson 25112 58%
Cynthia McKinney (I) 18056 42%

Update 10:52 PM: Time to call this a win for Lamont, I guess. But in the longterm, will it be a win for Lieberman and Republicans – assuming he takes the Independent route?

Update 10:53 PM: More, via Hotline On Call:

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s narrow defeat for renomination has started a vigorous round of second guessing among sympathetic state Democrats. The campaign’s decision late last week to scale back its GOTV effort is seen as a crucial error in the surprisingly close-run contest. Lieberman’s ground game today was not as extensive as challenger Lamont’s. Proof of that came in the returns from the state’s largest city, Bridgeport.


Lieberman lost Bridgeport by 4%. He had been expected to win convincingly.

Update 10:59 PM: On L/L:

706 of 748 Precincts Reporting – 94.39%

Lamont, Ned Dem 136,353 51.73
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 127,249 48.27

Update 11:02 PM: Johnson’s won in GA – 87% reporting:

Hank Johnson 35756 59%
Cynthia McKinney (I) 24767 41%

Wonder if McKinney will take a swing at him?

Update 11:08 PM: Joe is conceding (watching on FOX). WILL run as an Independent.

Update 11:11 PM: JL: “I will always do what I feel is right for my state and country, regardless of the political consequences.” Addressing supporters outside of the state, and encouraging them to visit his website when it’s “unhacked” and give money.

Update 11:14 PM: This means national Dems afraid of looking weak on national security will have to support a cut and run Democrat. Heh.

Update 11:17 PM: More official results:

733 of 748 Precincts Reporting – 97.99%
*Lamont, Ned Dem 143,363 51.81
Lieberman, Joe (i) Dem 133,323 48.19

Precincts Reporting: 153 of 167 (92%)
Hank Johnson (winner) 36853 59%
Cynthia McKinney (I) 25683 41%

Update 11:20 PM: Lamont is giving his victory speech. Rev. Jesse Jackson can be seen in the background. So can Rev. Al Sharpton. If Cindy Sheehan weren’t stalking the President in Crawford, she’d probably be there, too. More: Greg Tinti has video of Jesse Jackson claiming Ned Lamont is like a “breath of fresh air.” Maybe Jesse has a thing for the Freshmaker, too? UGH.

Update 11:28 PM: Malkin has a link roundup of blogger reax and other liveblogging posts.

Update 11:42 PM: John McIntyre at RCP: CT Senate Results Bad News For Dems

Update 11:51 PM: Watch for a lot more of this, and not just in CT. And on that nauseating note, I’m signing off for the night. Thanks to everyone who stayed tuned to the ST blog for updates :)

Update Midnight: One more – Allah has video of Hank Johnson’s victory speech (scroll). Lieberman’s speech is coming up shortly there at Hot Air. Make sure to catch it.


Ouch! Lanny Davis smacks down the hard left

It’s a clash of the hard left and the more ‘moderate’ wing of the Democratic party, as Clintonista Lanny Davis sticks it to Lamont’s hardline supporters (try to ignore his blatherings about the right wing):

Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony. Here are just a few examples (there are many, many more anyone with a search engine can find) of the type of thing the liberal blog sites have been posting about Joe Lieberman:

• “Ned Lamont and his supporters need to [g]et real busy. Ned needs to beat Lieberman to a pulp in the debate and define what it means to be an AMerican who is NOT beholden to the Israeli Lobby” (by “rim,” posted on Huffington Post, July 6, 2006).

• “Joe’s on the Senate floor now and he’s growing a beard. He has about a weeks growth on his face. . . . I hope he dyes his beard Blood red. It would be so appropriate” (by “ctkeith,” posted on Daily Kos, July 11 and 12, 2005).

• On “Lieberman vs. Murtha”: “as everybody knows, jews ONLY care about the welfare of other jews; thanks ever so much for reminding everyone of this most salient fact, so that we might better ignore all that jewish propaganda [by Lieberman] about participating in the civil rights movement of the 60s and so on” (by “tomjones,” posted on Daily Kos, Dec. 7, 2005).

• “Good men, Daniel Webster and Faust would attest, sell their souls to the Devil. Is selling your soul to a god any worse? Leiberman cannot escape the religious bond he represents. Hell, his wife’s name is Haggadah or Muffeletta or Diaspora or something you eat at Passover” (by “gerrylong,” posted on the Huffington Post, July 8, 2006).

• “Joe Lieberman is a racist and a religious bigot” (by “greenskeeper,” posted on Daily Kos, Dec. 7, 2005).

And these are some of the nicer examples.

One Sunday morning on C-Span I debated Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Lieberman versus Lamont race. Afterwards I received a series of emails–many of them in ALL CAPS (which often suggests the hyper-frenetic state of these extremist haters)–that were of the same stripe as the blog posts, and filled with the same level of personal hate.

But the issue is not just emotional outbursts by these usually anonymous bloggers. A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event–where he asked the candidate some critical questions–some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety.

Scary, eh?

Moreover, the support he gets from these haters should not be attributed to Mr. Lamont–nor should he be blamed for their extremism, bigotry and intolerance. But he ought to denounce them. He hasn’t as yet.

That’s not telling the whole story, though. It’s not that he just hasn’t denounced them. He denied having an association with them. Which was a outright lie.

Davis’ omission of that little factoid aside, it’s nice to see a prominent member of the Democratic party acknowledge in so many words what an increasingly wide number of party faithful have become: enraged, foaming-at-the-mouth, anti-war, military-despising, hate-Bush moonbats. Davis was just too nice and PC, apparently, to actually use those words. I, only the other hand, don’t feel bound by any such PC restrictions :)

More: In related Lieberman news, the Associated Press has declared today, and rightly so in my view, that the Lieberman race today will be the one to watch, along with the McKinney/Johnson runoff in Georgia. The direction of the Democratic party is, IMO, on the line today.

Oh, did you catch this piece from the WaPo this morning? They’re trying to spin frustration with Lieberman as dating back to issues dating back further than his support for Operation Iraqi Freedom. While I’m sure there was a degree of frustration, Democrats felt their disagreements with Joe Lieberman ‘tolerable’ – the Iraq war has changed all that, obviously. It’s a sin to stick by your decision on supporting “Bush’s war” and Joe may very well pay the price for that today.

Update: ST reader Karl at Leaning Straight Up appropriately titles his post on the topic: Liberal Epiphany: Bigotry and hate aren’t just for right-wingers anymore

Others blogging on this: Michelle Malkin, Don Surber, Joe Gandelman, Ankle Biting Pundits, Powerline, Blue Crab Boulevard, Liberty and Justice

Regarding today’s primaries/runoffs: Mary Katharine Ham has a comprehensive list of what primaries to watch, and how to stay updated on them via the web.

PM Update: Joe Lieberman’s campaign site has been hacked. Click here to find out the details.

I’m swamped right now, but will be back later to discuss the primary results as they come in and update with any new info related to the hacking incident.


LA mayor apologizes for not being a moral relativist

This is unbelievable. Via AP:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has apologized to Muslim leaders who accused him of taking Israel’s side in the violence in Lebanon by going to a pro-Israel rally and ignoring their invitations to interfaith peace vigils.

Villaraigosa met with 10 Muslim leaders Sunday and explained that a mix-up by his staff had prevented him from seeing their invitations, said his spokeswoman, Janelle Erickson.

“The mayor did apologize that the staff didn’t place the meeting on his schedule sooner,” said Erickson, describing Sunday’s hour-long discussion as “open and friendly.”

Villaraigosa called the meeting after the Muslim leaders held a news conference Friday accusing him of not representing all groups touched by the conflict.

They noted that he attended a July 23 rally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, at which he condemned Hezbollah guerrilla rocket attacks on Israel, but failed to respond to repeated calls and e-mail invitations to interfaith vigils for people killed on both sides in Lebanon.

“It was gracious of him to say ‘I apologize for the lack of communications,'” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Shura Council of Southern California.

The mayor pledged to visit mosques and attend events in the city’s Islamic communities, and assigned one of his senior advisors as liaison to Muslim groups.

It is a sad day in this country when a public figure has to apologize for not showing equal amounts of attention to the ‘other side of a conflict’, especially when it’s a side he does not support. It’s all about moral relativism, folks. “Hezbollah’s done bad things, but so has Israel, so who is to say one is worse than the other? Let’s all form a circle and have a group hug and sing Kumbaya. Can’t we all just get along?”


More/Related: What are the moonbats in the UK doing to combat Israel’s fight against Hezbollah? Gateway Pundit explains, with photos included. In a nutshell, seven anti-war ‘activists’ were arrested in Scotland after sneaking aboard a US military plane – in order to look for weapons the US may be shipping to Israel.

Hmm. I guess that means that the anti-war nuts that were involved in this are ok with Hezbollah continuing to fire at Israel, they just don’t want Israel to have the ability to defend itself. That doesnt’ sound anti-war to me – just anti-Israel. Apparently anti-war folks don’t mind wars as long as the side they’re rooting for has the more superior fire power.

Something tells me that Chris Hitchens, who has made this very point about ‘peace lovers’ in the past, would agree.

Go here for the latest on the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.