Monthly Archives: May 2008

155,000 > 135,000

May 30th, 2008 by Joshua Skaroff

Yesterday John McCain, the self proclaimed expert on Iraq and foreign policy, told an audience in Wisconsin that we “have drawn down to pre-surge levels” in Iraq.

John McCain is wrong.

Before the surge, there were 135,000 US troops in Iraq. Today there are 155,000. Last I checked 155,000 is greater than 135,000. Oops.

A Liberal Twitter

May 30th, 2008 by Joshua Skaroff

Just a quick correction regarding Peter’s appearance on MSNBC yesterday afternoon. At 3:12 in the clip, the host quotes a “liberal website” saying “Feeling for Scott McLellan [sic]. Nice getting savaged for saying what everyone knows to be true anyway.”

The so-called liberal website is actually a twitter post from Mike Turk, the Bush-Cheney 2004 eCampaign Director. Damn that liberal media!

The Primary Is Finally Over!

May 29th, 2008 by Matthew Slutsky

Well, the Ricky Martin primary is at least. With 3 contests remaining for the Democrats, Ricky Martin has decided to bravely step out on a limb and flex his muscle (political and other) in support of the great Senator from New York, Hillary R. Clinton.

We here at DoubleSpeak have calls into the managers of Menudo to see when and where they will endorse.

Big day for America. Big day for Hillary Clinton.

It is worth noting, however, that Ricky Martin was the headliner for George W. Bush’s inauguration ball in 2001.

Disgraced Sen. Larry Craig

May 29th, 2008 by Peter Slutsky

is writing a book that focuses on “the state of politics” in Washington. The book will detail the “arrest turmoil” from the Minnesota bathroom. Here’s the story. Can’t wait to read that one!

Ummmmmm, Huh?

May 29th, 2008 by Peter Slutsky

This woman should probably not go on TV anymore.

And the apology. (Note: I wonder if she’ll go into rehab?)

Today’s News

May 29th, 2008 by Peter Slutsky

Scott McClellan Speaks Out [LINK]

Rove Calls McClellan A “Left-Wing Blogger” [LINK]

Bush Re-Elect eCampaign Director:”McClellan Savaged For Saying What Everyone Knows To Be True” [LINK]

CNN’s Jessica Yellin Says “Network Execs Killed Critical White House Stories” [LINK]

Murdoch: “I Think Obama Will Win… [LINK]

Rendell Doesn’t Think Clinton Can Win [LINK]

Sen. Coburn Not Happy With Obama [LINK]

NPR: Mich. Democrats Offer Plan To Restore Delegates [LINK]

Media Plays Up DNC “Chaos” This Saturday [LINK]

Delegate Dilemma…Seat Half? [LINK]

Pelosi’s Crystal Ball [LINK]

TIME: Team McCain Ready for Prime Time? [LINK]

More MSNBC…

May 28th, 2008 by Peter Slutsky

Look! I’m on the TEEVEES! Enjoy.

Denial: Not Just a River in Egypt

May 28th, 2008 by Joshua Skaroff

Former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan has a new book out. And let’s just say it’s not exactly friendly to George Bush, Karl Rove, or any of the other knuckleheads who’ve been running our country for most of this century.

Putting aside the much more serious charge that the president and his team purposely mislead the nation into war with a coordinated propaganda campaign, I thought this find was symbolic of everything that is wrong with this administration. Via Jake Tapper:

Writes McClellan: “‘The media won’t let go of these ridiculous cocaine rumors,’ I heard Bush say. ‘You know, the truth is I honestly don’t remember whether I tried it or not. We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don’t remember.’

“I remember thinking to myself, How can that be? How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine? It didn’t make a lot of sense.”

And yet, McClellan concludes, “I think he meant what he said in that conversation about cocaine. It’s the first time when I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true, and that, deep down, he knew was not true. And his reason for doing so is fairly obvious — political convenience…”

I honestly believe in this day and age that drug use, especially in a long gone youth is not a big deal. But deluding yourself into believe that said drug use didn’t even exist is emblematic of a much deeper problem with the truth. Something our president clearly isn’t a fan of.

Presidential Candidates on Darfur: Never Again

May 28th, 2008 by Matthew Slutsky

Civility and harmony are not words which typically depict the 2008 election cycle. And after what has already been a rather venomous campaign season, it may seem as though the chances of Republicans and Democrats coming together on the big issues we face are at best, unlikely.

But alas, a ray of hope remains.

This morning, the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations, released a joint-statement signed by all three major party candidates, Obama, Clinton and McCain, in unity over ending the genocide in Darfur.

While not unprecedented in presidential politics, this statement represents a defining moment in the struggle to call the world’s attention to this crisis. Today all candidates have spoken in one voice and declared that ending genocide in Darfur is a priority of not just a U.S. Administration but also of the international community, which is primarily tasked with handling situations of this nature.

Here’s an excerpt of the statement:

“As we campaign for President of the United States over the next several months, we expect there to be significant focus on the many differences between us,” reads the statement, which is also featured today in a New York Times advertisement. “It is with this awareness that we are taking the uncommon step of issuing a joint statement about an issue. After more than five years of genocide, the Sudanese government and its proxies continue to commit atrocities against civilians in Darfur. This is unacceptable to the American people and to the world community.”

In addition to the statement, the Coalition has taken out a paid advertisement in the New York Times with signatures from the candidates.

The past seven years of Bush Administration foreign policy have been destructive in terms of America’s ability to be a moral leader in the world. The Bush Administration characterized the situation in Darfur as genocide yet, as on so many other issues, it has offered empty rhetoric in place of meaningful action towards confronting the regime in Khartoum, Sudan.

January 20, 2009 will be a new day for America. Whichever candidate is administered the oath of office will be tasked with cleaning up Bush’s messes and, when it comes to Darfur, implementing a policy that truly works towards ending the genocide.

Today, we should all pause and regardless of political party, be proud that when it comes to ending genocide each of the candidates are ready to declare “never again.”

Barber Insults Islam, Receives Saudi Death Sentence

May 27th, 2008 by Matthew and Peter Slutsky
I have never blogged about a story like this before. I usually stick to U.S. politics, but I came across an outrageous developing situation; this is a story that I feel needs telling.

The only information that I can find, in English, comes from Human Rights Watch so I will quote their release throughout the post. The circumstances surrounding this ugly situation involve a barber, a blogger, and a pending death sentence in Saudi Arabia. I am hoping the Huffington Post community will help take action and bring much needed attention to these barbaric events taking place on the other side of the world.

Here is the story, as I understand it: Recently, a Turkish-born barber, living in Saudi Arabia received the death sentence. What was his crime you ask? Someone overheard him saying something that might have been insulting to Islam.

Bogday, a Turkish national who had worked in Jeddah for 11 years as a barber, allegedly insulted God during an argument with a Saudi client and an Egyptian neighbor. Bogday, who did not have a lawyer in court, denied cursing God, but the three judges of the lower court regarded the testimony by the Saudi and the Egyptian witnesses as sufficient proof that Bogday had committed the crime of apostasy, or defection from Islam.


What's worse, a "web critic", or blogger as we would call him, is now involved in the situation and he faces a five-year prison sentence and a 3 million riyal, (US-$800,000), fine for "setting up an electronic site that insults Islam."

On May 5, the prosecution service in Jeddah charged Ra'if Badawi with "setting up an electronic site that insults Islam," and referred the case to court, asking for a five-year prison sentence and a 3 million riyal (US$800,000) fine. Unknown persons have hacked Badawi's website multiple times, and have published his phone numbers, work address, and a threat on the hacked site: "Oh you retard, you are in the land of Muhammad, peace be upon him. Underline 'Muhammad' with a thousand lines before a thousand swords are put above your neck!" Prosecutors have not investigated the hackers or the death threats against Badawi.


So far only Human Rights Watch has taken up Bogday's cause. On May 13, the organization issued a press release condemning Bogday's sentence and called for the case to be overturned. There have been indications that the Turkish government is requesting Bogday's release, but there has been no official report.

This situation is completely nuts and no reporters are stepping up to the plate to tell this man's story. The tenets of international law regarding the freedom of expression require the release of both Bogday and the Saudi blogger who reported the incident.

Remember that last year a case involving a Saudi woman who was gang-raped and sentenced to 200 lashes drew immense international criticism. This scrutiny from both the U.S. and international press resulted in the Saudi courts overturning her sentence. We know that when the press makes noise and public opinion sways, people's lives are saved.

This case, and cases like it, have occurred and will continue to occur as long as international voices remain silent. I am not a human rights expert nor am I someone who seeks to expose the many cases that happen around the world. I am, instead, someone who stumbled upon this case and felt the need to shine a light on it.

My sincere hope is that others will see this story and decide to report further on the circumstances of this situation. It is clear that we require more information to determine the facts, but it is certain that, in doing so, time is of the essence.

UPDATE: The press is finally catching on. Congrats to the Huff Post community for helping to push this story.

Saudi law may lead to Turk's beheading [Los Angeles Times]
Saudi barber faces beheading for cursing [United Press International]


-Peter Slutsky