Archive for May 14th, 2008

by jhwygirl

Monday night’s The Daily Show – which shows at midnight Tuesday morning here in the mountain west – had an extremely interesting interview with Douglas Feith, former Undersecretary for Defense Policy – the man who helped formulate the war in Iraq.

So there I was a midnight, trying to fall asleep. Stewart interviewing Feith about his book, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. {yawn}

Boy, I was wrong.

Maybe he thought he’d get the cakewalk that McCain got last week when Stewart let the defacto Republican presidential candidate escape any question regarding his pastor problems (Pastor I-hate-Catholics Hagee and Pastor Rod Islam-is-a-false-religion-that-must-be-destroyed-by-America Parsley).

Far from it – Feith was but-but-buttin’ from the get go, but only after a deadpan “holy crap” look on his face from Stewart’s first real question out of the box, after first asking him what was his favorite baseball team. Video is best, really – like I said, the look on his face was priceless, but here’s some highlights:

Stewart: oh, man. we really disagree. mets. “war: indecision.” what if it boils down to that, i like the mets, you like the phillies. the whole thing falls apart. it seem like in reading it sort of the basic idea of the book– and tell me if i’m wrong– that a lot of what we know about the run-up to the iraq war, a low of the conventional wisdom is wrong. this idea that, i think it’s something that you might take offense to that we were misled into war somehow. (one person applauding)…
settle down. it will be a long ten minutes, lady. the idea we’re misled in a war is wrong. now, from this side of it, i always felt like we were misled. so, let’s bridge that gap in ten minutes. what makes you say we were not misled? what was so honest about….

Feith: i think the administration had an honest belief in the things that it said. some of the things that it said about the war that were part of the rationale for the war were wrong. errors are not lies. i think much of what the administration said was correct and provided an important argument that leaving saddam hussein in power would have been extremely risky even though the president’s decision to remove him was extremely risky.

Stewart: let me stop you there because the president’s decision to remove him was extremely risky. that’s not the sense, i think, that the american people got in the run-up. (applause) the sense that you got from people was not… the sense was, we’ll be greeted as liberators. it will last maybe six weeks, maybe six months. it will pay for itself. all these scenarios that were publicly proffered never happened. you said something that i thought was interesting. the common refrain that the post war has been a disaster is only true if you had completely unrealistic expectations. where would we have gotten those expectations? (laughing)

Feith: well, there were a lot of things that did not go according to expectations. we know that the war has been bloodier and costlyier and lengthyier than anybody hoped. but the president had an extremely difficult task. after 9/11, there was a great sensitivity to our vulnerability. and the president had to weigh– and what i do in the book is i look at the actual documents where secretary rumsfeld was writing to the president and powell and rice and the vice president and general myers and others. i talk about what they said to each other and what they were saying back to secretary rumsfeld. what you see is there was a serious consideration of the very great risks of war. i think that many of them were actually discussed with the public. but to tell you the truth, looking back one thing is absolutely clear. this administration made grocerors in the way it talked about the war. some of them are very obvious like the….

Stewart: that was all we had to go on. you know, that was… i guess the difference in my mind is if you knew the perils but the conversation that you had with the public painted a rosier picture, how is that not deception? that sounds like… when you’re sell ago product…. ( applause ) what it sounds like for me. sorry. the fact that you seem to know all the risks takes this from manslaughter to homicide. it almost takes it from like with the cigarette companies. if they come out and say, no, our products i think are going to be delicious. you go back and you look and they go, well, they actually did talk about addictiveness and cancer. isn’t that deception?

And so it goes – and that was only the beginning.

Every once in the while you see something on the television that makes you want to get up and cheer like you’re sitting in the endzone at Heinz Field and its 4th and 10 and Roethlisberger is earning his pay.

Stewart’s interview was one of those times.

Here is the full transcript.

There’s also uncut video – as I said, the look on Feith’s face is priceless. Part I and Part II.

by jhwygirl

Olbermann’s Special Comments are a treat. Most of them leave me standing in the livingroom, fist raised in the air, cheering or sitting there saying “oh no he didn’t!” Olbermann is the best of the best political pundits anywhere.

Wednesday night’s Special Comment was another one of those moments – with me both cheering and saying “oh no he didn’t!” as he chastised Bush for his lies and feigned non-sacrifices in the face of the 4077 U.S. soldiers now killed in Iraq.

He closed it out with this:

When somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abdicating sacrifice of your golf game, so as to soothe the families of the war dead – this advice Mr. Bush: Shut. The HELL. Up.

Full text here. It’s 4 pages – longer than usual – but a thorough dressing down of Bush arrogance.

~~I love you Keith. Call me. :-)

by jhwygirl

Local beverage house Liquid Planet has signed on to a $100,000 military contract with the Department of Defense.

They’ll be distributing their coffee at military bases around the world.

by Pete Talbot

Missoula’s Sustainable Business Council will hold its 4th Annual Sustainability Awards tomorrow night (Thursday, May 15) at the Stensrud Building.

The Stensrud Building is on Missoula’s Northside at 314 N. 1st St. W. A social get together starts at 5:30 p.m., the awards will be presented at 6 p.m. and a lecture will follow at 6:15 p.m. It’s free and open to the public, and there are always treats and beverages at these events.

Each year, the SBC presents a series of awards to recognize and appreciate outstanding contributions to the concept of sustainable practices and the resulting positive effect on the quality of life in Missoula and Western Montana. This year’s winners, listed below, will be recognized at the opening of the final lecture for the 2007 – 2008 lecture series.

Categories & Recipients

SBC Business Award: Big Sky Brewing

SBC Nonprofit Award: Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD)

SBC New Venture Award: First Interstate Bank and Missoula Federal Credit Union (for building green)

SBC Advocate Award: Ms. Lizzi Juda

SBC Volunteer Award: Mr. Kevin Dohr and Ms. Kaia Peterson

Following the awards, Merrill Lynch Senior Partner Susan Estep will give a presentation on the $2.71 trillion socially responsible investing market. Estep has over 25 years in the securities industry and is a portfolio manager specializing in socially responsible investing.

(Full disclosure: Pete Talbot is on the board of the Sustainable Business Council. For more information on the SBC, please visit the Council’s website.)

by jhwygirl

City Club Missoula is going to host Office of Planning & Grants’ Planning Director Roger Millar this coming Monday for a lunchtime discussion on the Urban Fringe Development Area (UFDA) Project.

Everyone is welcome, but reservations are required, and the need to be made by noon on May 15th (this Thursday). There is a lunch or no-lunch option – cost is $11/members, $16 for nonmembers if you do lunch, or $5 for the no-lunch forum only. Email or call 406-546-6643 before noon Thursday, May 15, for reservations.

The event is being held at the Doubletree Edgewater, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Roger Millar and his staff will lead a public discussion to help develop a framework plan that incorporates what the community wants in its Growth Policy. The purpose of the UFDA Project is to look at where Missoula’s growth has been going and where it might go.

Millar’s project is pretty ambitious, and OPG has been at this one for quite a while now – gathering data and meeting with Neighborhood Councils, the County School Board, the Business Improvement District, various service clubs, and Five Valley’s Land Trust. Millar is taking a methodical approach to figuring out how our community wants to handle the growth we all know is coming – how to take us into our future. Actual planning – or at least the beginning throes of it. It’s comforting, frankly, to have a new Planning Director come into town and instead of telling us what we need to do, he comes into town and begins figuring out what makes Missoula tick.

He’s also placing heavy emphasis on mapping and visual tools, giving the GIS staff in OPG quite a workout. All things are very helpful, and provide wonderful tools for analysis once it’s all in the system. Even this skeptic (me) is a fan.

There’s a nice list of the maps available on this page – scroll about 3/4 of the way down. There’s also some other links there too. (Be nice if this project, given the amount of information available, had its own page.)

Laval Means ( and Casey Wilson ( are the main staffers on the project. Shoot them an email if you have any questions.

by Jason Wiener

Tonight, at the Holiday Inn, you can have a say in what Missoula can do to keep our downtown the vibrant center of a thriving community. And you won’t even have to step up to a microphone. You will, however, have to show up for the second public meeting on the Greater Downtown Master Plan.

Consultant Crandall Arambula will present a menu of options to address the issues and opportunities available on the topics of a healthy retail sector , housing for all income levels, multi-modal transportation networks, historic preservation, parking and more. Everyone who attends will be asked to vote for their preferences among the options so everyone will have a say whether it’s your style to grab the mic or not.

Make the future match your hopes TONIGHT, May 14, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park (200 S. Pattee).

Click here to read in more detail.

Thanks for being involved.

Jason Wiener, Alderman, Ward One
1238 Jackson St.
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 542-3232

by jhwygirl

We’ve got gubernatorial candidate Don Pogreba – who comments under the name Pogie in this post on education.

Pogreba’s a teacher – and he probably won’t be able to stop back until after the school day ends – but if you’ve got something you want to ask, 4&20 might be a good place to do it.

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